Turning off the camera during video conferencing increases your productivity. This is the conclusion of a new study.
It seems like a contradiction in terms, but an experiment by researchers from the University of Arizona shows that people become more focused during meetings if they turn off the camera, reports CNBC.
The reason is that people stop focusing on their faces. Instead, they focus on what is being said to a greater extent, according to the article’s authors.
Video conferencing has become a part of the daily lives of millions of people during the pandemic. It brings with it very positive effects, but also some disadvantages.
Among other things, meeting participants often feel “watched” by other participants.
So they focus on their facial expressions and how others perceive them, to the point that they easily lose sight of the content of what is being discussed.
Since this self-examination effect takes some energy, participants are less likely to engage and express new ideas.
The extent to which the presence of the camera affects each participant also varies.
It is easy for women to be overburdened by the presence of the camera because there are prejudices that they take care of the chores at home while they work. The researchers say they are therefore more careful to look at the group.
Alison Gabriel, one of the researchers who conducted the study, says that doesn’t mean we should avoid video conferencing at all.
However, it is recommended to give people the opportunity to attend the meeting with the camera turned off.
“The assumption that you have to wear a camera to participate is outdated and employees should feel they can talk to their colleagues and managers about camera etiquette and what is expected in various meetings,” she told CNBC.
Alison Gabriel believes we should implement new strategies when it comes to camera meetings. She suggests that everyone decide in advance whether or not they want to participate with the camera turned on.
Anyone who finds it difficult to make all communication with the camera should decide in advance which meetings will be necessary.
Gabriel believes that showing your face in a meeting with one or two participants can make sense, especially if it is with your boss.
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