Cognitive collaborators from around the world, unite! It is necessary to renegotiate a new way of working with Zoom.
There’s no doubt that the app founded by Eric Yuan, a Chinese-born American, saved many people the work and face-to-face interactions during the pandemic. Zoom was the technology that was at the right time and place for the moment of social retreat.
This is reflected in the company figures. Revenue for the second quarter of 2020 was $ 663 million, an increase of 355% over the same period last year. And there were 300 million people who connected to a digital meeting every day.
The number of minutes spent on online meetings per year rose from 100 billion in January to 2 trillion in April, more than 20 times.
With this success Zoom has created its own culture. If I had to choose one of the most flashy phrases of 2020, “you’re stupid” would certainly be in the finalists. However, Zoom also has issues that need to be addressed, many of them related to mental health at work.
First of all, it should be mentioned that when you work for Zoom you are part of a privileged plane. There are 70 million people in Brazil who do not have enough internet connection to hold a meeting on Zoom. So much so that only 10% of the population entered the home office regime. So these questions really affect a certain segment of the population in the country.
After these qualifications, the first point is that Zoom’s fatigue is real. Few network applications can demand that much attention. For those who use the platform intensively, the square of the computer camera becomes a kind of cage. If the meeting is long, the experience becomes increasingly excruciating. The focus requirement is becoming increasingly difficult to meet.
One of the symptoms of this fatigue is the famous “snort” that most people give almost without thinking when a video conference ends. There is a collection of videos online of people caught doing this (a friendly ringtone for “you are mute” is “your camera is on”).
What should I do? Zoom’s fatigue problem is both technological and social. I have already written about the technological aspects in another column. With regard to the social aspects, it is necessary to harmonize the personal and professional rules of use of the platform.
Starting with the requirement to keep the camera on at all times. This requirement is much more of a control than communication. There is no point in requiring a large group of people to be silent and stare at a tiny camera while only one person is speaking.
The second point is that we must both agree that it is perfectly okay to give partial attention to a video conference. With that in mind, if suddenly asked after a discussion, it should be acceptable for a person to be able to say, “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. Can you repeat the question and the point discussed? “.
This social renegotiation would take enormous weight to platforms like Zoom. Mental health thank you. Me too.
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