Although we have not been able to have face-to-face meetings during the lockdown, we can still enjoy the next best thing. We can sit around a virtual table and discuss things almost as naturally as sitting in a real meting room. We have Zoom, Teams, Webex and many other video meeting tools readily available. Broadband connections are common and the Internet has held up well with the increased traffic.
We are getting accustomed to using video in our personal lives. Whether it’s having a Skype conversation with a distant relative, a Zoom pub quiz with our friends or a FaceTime chat on an iPhone. This is setting expectation from employees. It’s then frustrating to find that the facilities at work are limited and we have to revert back to audio conferences for meetings.
As we get more familiar with seeing ourselves on the screen we are also getting used to one-to-one video calls. In the days of the “tele-phone” you didn’t have any choice. You had to imagine someone’s facial expressions as you listened to them. Now you can see someone when you talk to them, why would you not want to? You wouldn’t ask someone into your office for a meeting and then turn out the lights, so you couldn’t see them, but that’s effectively what you are doing with a phone call!
As we continue with many more months of home working, at least for those who are vulnerable, we will get more accustomed to video meetings. We are learning how to use the ‘mute’ button and not all talk at once. We have worked out that if you sit in front of the window you will be a silhouette. And we now know we only have to dress smartly from the waist up!