I was having a call a few weeks ago where we were trying to figure out how make our meetings more productive.
The immediate answer from someone on the call – “Everyone should have video on, we should turn it on by default, I want to see everyone’s faces”.
I shut it down and here’s why…
Just because I can see your face, it doesn’t mean you are engaged, it just means you are there.
When someone has a poor connection, the video saps their audio, which collectively degrades the call. I want to hear what you are talking about, if I have to sacrifice looking at you I will.
I share my screen very often on calls, and when I share my screen, my face is close up on the camera. In essence you are seeing a zoomed in view of my forehead ignoring what I’m talking about.
There are cases to have all video, all the time.
One On Ones? Sure.
Interviews? Yes, guaranteed.
Team meetings? Depends on the group, but sure if that works for you, go for it.
But not every meeting has to be a video call. We had conference calls before, with just the phone, they worked fine. I had a call this morning with someone on the phone and we got to the heart of the issue without having a video chat.
You don’t need video to get work done, you just think you do, and that’s the fallacy in how you are working.