This week’s episode: “Lights, Camera, No Camera!”
Author: Dave Aiken
What I think is going on.... Companies, especially big companies, are cutting back on travel, increasing the number of phone and video meetings using conference calls and collaboration tools like Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and many others. Companies use scheduling programs like Microsoft Office 365/Outlook, which by default schedules meetings for either 30 minutes or an hour. Companies are reorganizing and resizing/downsizing, especially the large multinationals, so more people are attending meetings to justify their positions. This all accumulates in too many meetings with too many attendees where most of them never say anything and are multitasking.
When cameras are turned on, everyone sees your video, more prominently in most applications if you are speaking. Regardless, people can see if you are paying attention or not. What should be a collaboration feature of seeing someone's facial expressions is considered a negative.
Current research suggests that people are more willing to adopt new technology if they are trained. In a previous position, the company replaced an existing audio/slides interface with a more robust collaboration tool that included video. That was in 2007, and to this day, people at that company do not turn on their cameras unless they are specifically asked to. It was never part of the company culture to share video, plus the attendees are BIG multitaskers. Executives at this company and most other large companies invest in life-size video screens and cameras for their executives, which are easy to use and used frequently. In order to realize the benefits of video throughout the organization, especially in multinational corporations, use of video should be highly encouraged. Previous studies over the last 10 years indicated 62%-75% of communication in a meeting is visual...think of the information people are leaving on the table by not using cameras!
With the advent of hackers accessing our notebooks and phones (and cameras) via public networks, people are even buying little clips and devices to turn OFF or BLOCK their cameras, much less try to use them more! I’ve been known to use a piece of tape or a Post-it note on occasion. This is related to the fear of identity theft and general privacy issues. The use of video may vary by culture, but this has not been studied as far as I can tell from my literature review. One study recommended developing an automated ROI program for use with collaboration rollouts. Collaboration remains a technology that everyone needs, some want, and the rest tolerate! Imagine the return to a company if the promise of collaboration was realized through successful technology rollouts and employee adoption training?
So that's what I am thinking..
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