take a minute

to zoom or not to zoom post june 21st.
02 Jun 2021
by Neil

As I write this it’s only 47 days until June 21st.  47 days until we’re told life will get back to normal and we should be able to return to the office.   At the moment though it seems like the jury is out on whether we’ll all return back to the office.  Some firms, like Twitter, have told their teams to stay at home for as long as they like, others like Goldman Sachs are championing everyone returning back to the office as soon as is allowed.  My guess though is that for most of us it’s the hybrid model that will prevail.

That got me thinking about meetings?  Before March 23rd last year my own use of video conferencing was limited and I guess like the majority, happily travelled for 2 hours for an hours meeting, only to travel back for a further 2 hours – and thought nothing of it. Of course since the first lockdown we all had to convert to video conferencing in order to continue our meetings.  Tools such as Zoom, Teams, Skype For Business and Google Meets have become invaluable, indeed how would we have managed without them, and why didn’t I invest in them!!

the benefits of video conferencing are of course obvious...

According to CommuniCloud they:

  • Are More Engaging than Audio Conferencing

  • Are Efficient – have you noticed how they always start on time?

  • Save on Travel Money.

  • Improves Communication.

  • Connected Our Teams.

  • Improved Productivity.

  • Provide More Structure for Meetings

so post June 21st they are here to stay then? well maybe not.

They do have their disadvantages. Here are my top few:

  • Technical issues and employee training – ‘you’re on mute’ surely the most overused set of words this past 12 months

  • Zoom-bombing (not so much now but those early days!!)

  • Having to look at yourself for 8 hours a day

  • Less personal contact and understanding

  • Network instability and time lag

  • Unreliable Technology

  • Too much required training. / inconsistent platform controls

So where does that leave me.  Well personally I can’t see me winding back from video conferencing for all the advantages listed, but – over the past few weeks I’ve really appreciated getting back to the office, meeting colleagues and having some personal contact. I therefore think - like the working location issue - we won’t be going back and abandoning the new ways of working. We’ll embrace them and work with a hybrid model.

i do know one thing for certain…

Regardless of whether I choose to work from the office or from home, hold meetings online or in person the one habit I won’t be breaking is taking some time out from my technology during the day, every day.

Take a look at one of my other blogs to find out more about how I use techtimeout best practices within my working day.