Holger Reisinger, SVP at Jabra, takes a look at why you should have your camera on during virtual meetings.
With the entry of hybrid work in recent years, the rules of professionalism have changed. Online meetings have replaced business attire and handshakes with digital competence and virtual “how are you?” check-ins.
But online meetings haven’t thrown the meaning of professionalism completely out the window, even if pants became optional.
It turns out, turning video on plays a role in how professional we appear during online meetings, but where you are in your career might also impact when – and whether – you turn on video.
So, if you’re wondering how your colleagues might perceive you based on your video habits, let’s explore this a little more.
Is Turning on Video a Career Booster?
In the times of flexible work, we’ve all become more reliant on technology to enable the coffee chats, meetings, creative workshops, and brainstorms that took place in the office. Even if we’re back in the office, almost every meeting involves some remote attendees.
When interacting online, we lack the ability to read beyond what’s being said and are perhaps mostly aware of our own appearance, looking at ourselves in that little frame.
And rightly so, with 58% working either fully remote or flexible, our professionalism online is more important than ever.
Our recent hybrid work report reveals that employees joining an online meeting with video are taken more seriously and seen as more engaged in the conversation.
And with two-thirds of meetings being either fully online or hybrid, there’s a lot to gain from turning on your camera.
When face to face in the office we constantly give away body language and social cues that impact how our peers see us.
And while we can’t (yet) replicate an in-person interaction through online meetings, turning on video can be a booster to how we are perceived.
Almost half of those we surveyed say that colleagues with video on seem more involved in meetings than those with video off.
With a simple act of turning on your camera you present yourself as a more active and engaged contributor – which I believe most of us want.
Do We Feel Pressure to Turn on Video?
At the end of the day, a lot of people are uncomfortable turning video on all the time. It can be cognitively fatiguing and drive heightened self-awareness, and research shows that it impacts some more than others.
According to our research, this applies more to the younger generations than others. Gen Z and millennials are not only those who most often feel left out in online meetings, but they’re also feeling the most pressure to use video.
They are typically in the early stages of their career and equipped with less experience, where many of us know it can be intimidating to be seen and heard.
In general, the choice to turn video on is highly influenced by the number of attendees in the meeting, one’s role in the meeting and who else is attending.
Sitting in a small meeting, Gen Z is more likely to turn on video because it will be noticeable if they choose not to.
Meanwhile, generations further into their career, Gen X and boomers, either care less or are more relaxed. 37% and 47% of Gen X and boomers respectively say that they never turn on their video.
However, in a scenario where the boss or other superior are joining the meeting, there’s an even likelihood across generations to turn on video.
In other words, while there are different drivers to using video in an online meeting, the younger generations suffer most from social pressure.
It emphasises that the stage of your career is influential on how you present yourself in meetings. This poses a challenge for building organisational trust if certain groups systematically feel uncomfortable or alienated.
Especially because I believe that employees share their best input when attending a meeting in a way that feels most comfortable for them – remote or in-person.
Is Video a Win-Win for All?
While turning on video can have a positive impact on your career and how others see you, there’s still some work to be done to ensure that each employee feels comfortable at the meeting – video or not.
By considering clear guidelines for different meeting scenarios to try to ease the pressure felt to turn video on, business leaders can build a better meeting culture – and better meetings for all.For more information about Jabra - visit the Jabra Website
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.