I just wondered what people’s thoughts were on this.
Since Covid struck last year I have changed job (same company, different department), and like many people now, most of my work interactions are via zoom meetings. (Actually a different brand, not zoom, but that’s not important). What I’ve really struggled with is the fact that I don’t have that face to face contact with my colleagues, and I didn’t realise how much I needed it until it was gone. Quite a few people I work with now I have actually no visual impression of, which makes me feel as if I don’t know them at all. I also rely on a lot of visual clues while talking to people (and am quite a physical/demonstrative speaker myself – I pause and think a lot) so it’s difficult to have that taken away.
The problem is few people in my firm likes putting their camera on during zoom calls. And I think it’s younger people who drive this trend. I’ve started pointedly putting mine on in meetings, but few people seem to follow suit.
To be honest, I was starting to think it was quite rude NOT to put your camera on, especially when talking to someone you’ve never met face to face. And then I started reading a thread on Reddit (can’t be bothered finding it again) where many, many people (probably the younger generation I think) said pretty much the opposite – that it’s rude, in fact a real imposition, for your firm to insist or even suggest you turn your camera on in a meeting! This surprised me, and made me think I’m probably just a curmudgeon.
So I can’t help feel there has been a generational change here. Am I right? Younger people, more used to chatting online etc, are happy to have faceless conversations, and in general feel it is an attack of their personal space to insist on showing their face. Whereas this facelessness just drives me potty and I find myself struggling to follow and contribute to conversations. I need to nod and smile and wave my hands about to be understood properly, and I like this to be reciprocated by whoever I am talking to.