Zoom/Teams/Skype meetings: pros and cons

Pros
You can leave before the end without embarrassment
You can just plead “technical issues” and leave your camera off if you can’t be arsed
You can fart and nobody notices (as long as it’s not really loud)
It’s nice to have a nosy at other people’s spare rooms

Cons
There’s too many of them, way too many

What else? I’m thinking primarily of work-related meetings but feel free to apply to other areas of your life

So much this.

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Personally I hate them. It’s way to easier to be distracted by your phone or emails and I end up missing lots of important stuff. Find it much easier to concentrate when I’m there in person.

Other cons:

  • My colleagues now all think (rightly) that my cat’s really badly behaved.
  • Embarrassing moment when you have to interrupt to go and answer the door for a delivery
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I’ve only been on on video chat since this began. Felt really unnecessary tbh as it was a one to one. My team just use a phone thing instead, which is good because I just mess about on DiS while it’s on in the background.

Also I think there’s something nice about the “dead time” before and after meetings. I was talking about this today: the time taken travelling to and from a meeting is kind of redundant but gives you time to prepare mentally, and then reflect afterwards.

That said, there’s something nice about being in a meeting where you’re only needed for five minutes of it, to be able to just switch off for the remainder without having to pretend like you’re interested.

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Good if you have social anxiety. Find it easier to contribute in them cos I can write notes and read from them without feeling self conscious about it. Also much less scary giving demos over teams.

Do find myself tuning out of boring meetings even faster than usual though and having to wing it if I get asked something

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This is pretty much it for me. I’m in the field mainly, but twice a week I report to the office to discuss project development with PM’s and I find the lack of face to face interaction very frustrating. Hard to read managers body language, facial expressions.

A problem that could take a quick 5 minute face to face chat turns into a 30 minute call.

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Read a really interesting article on why they’re so tiring to do: as humans we’re so used to reading non verbal cues in conversation that only being able to see a tiny head and shoulders of someone means we’re spending a lot of energy trying to see things we’d normally do easily and quickly.

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Yeah they’re great for the boring meetings you have to attend but don’t really affect you, but the ones you actually need to pay attention to, not so good

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Don’t need to bother with all the exhausting social niceties.

I had a hearing scheduled for videoconferencing in a couple of weeks, which would have been interesting because an important part of those is assessing the feeling in the room - is this line of argument pissing off the Appeal board, etc. This is a pilot program that was always in the works but has now been accelerated for obvious reasons.

But the other side have wussed out and requested a postponement instead. Pussies.

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That is interesting. I’ve noticed that if I’ve done a few of them in one day I’m generally more knackered than I would be for equivalent face to face meetings, even if the subject matter isn’t inherently stressful.

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I’ve actually found it quite good for problem solving. If I need to speak to a couple of my colleagues plus a couple of external partners, then I can arrange a half an hour Teams meeting at short notice. If I was to attempt this face to face then I’d be looking at maybe a week/ten days* lead-in time to find a clear slot.

I can have my mic on mute and play guitar during hour long departmental meetings

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Its the wave of the future though. Going to be so many smaller businesses/offices that pay for commercial office space in the past, that no longer are willing to spend said money when employees can work from home and have no decrease in productivity. Especially here.

Always reassuring when Teams tells me my mic is on mute when it picks up guitar noises.

I absolutely love Big whole staff meetings where I can stream it from my teams app on my phone to my headphones and do the washing up while the head is telling us what is going on (not much tbh)

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Pro

I can watch The Sopranos when on a Zoom which I cant at work.

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Pro - if it’s a meeting you don’t want to be at or don’t consider important, you can turn your camera and mic off and dick about doing other things

Con - When it’s a meeting you actually need some concrete stuff to come out of it, and nobody’s contributing because they’ve all turned their camera and mic off and are dicking about doing other things

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I actually thrive on zooms for some reason whereas standard phonecalls render me an anxious wreck. Think it’s something to do with being able to set my own delays/thinking time, you can’t just sit there saying nothing on a phonecall.