No matter what situation your employees are in: meetings, conferences or webinars, turning their camera on provides an extremely improved experience for all that are involved. It greatly increases overall engagement, helps speakers better interact with their audience, and encourages others to follow suit. So then why are people so afraid to turn their cameras on?
With Zoom meetings and conferences on Teams being very much the future of work, a lack of face time is a roadblock most teams will, or already face. The answer as to why people are afraid of turning their video on is complicated and can vary from person to person. That being said, we will explain this from a very general perspective. Simply put, people are shy. Often, they are too self conscious to turn their video on, because their every action and expression is being broadcasted to the entire meeting. Furthermore, there is a fear of being judged by others based on their appearance and facial expressions. In combination with the feeling of being watched and constantly having to monitor their own expressions, it’s just way easier for your employees to just keep their cameras off and avoid all the stress and anxiety.
Let’s speak about the elephant in the room; COVID fatigue is a phenomenon prevalent in the world of customer experience that people seldom talk about. So what is COVID fatigue? COVID fatigue is a psychological burnout, which is a product of lockdowns, remote work and COVID-related mandates. This can look like difficulty concentrating and lack of motivation.
So how do you treat COVID fatigue? At a very general level, practicing mindfulness with your team, showing positivity and doing everything you can to support your employees is the best thing you can do. Check out our blog on combating COVID fatigue, where we dive into greater detail on what it is and how to treat it.
Here, we have prepared some very basic steps you and your team can take to better encourage your employees to turn their cameras on! These methods are by no means comprehensive and should serve as a starting point for enhancing your employee experience approach.
1. Prepare your employees by telling them they will be expected to turn their cameras on. This allows them to mentally prepare, which will make them feel more comfortable. In contrast, announcing you want cameras on at the start of the meeting puts people on the spot, making it less likely that your workers will spontaneously project their face onto the screens of others. Set expectations early and often!
2. On a more company culture related note, make sure to create and enforce a judgment-free environment. As many employees often feel like their every move is being judged when their camera is on, improving or changing your culture can help them escape the feeling of being watched every second. While this tip isn’t as concrete, showing your employees that they aren’t being scrutinized is incredibly important to the health of the entire team as a whole.
3. Lastly, create a casual and fun atmosphere! Lead by example by turning your own camera on, and even add a funny background for fun. The fact of the matter is, some people are just naturally camera shy. By making your team feel comfortable, more people will be willing to come forward and turn on those cameras! The more employees you encourage to turn cameras on, the more likely others will follow suit.
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