The Pros And Cons Of 'Cameras On' During Virtual Meetings


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The Pros and Cons of ‘Cameras On’ During Virtual Meetings

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Recent survey of 4,200 employees working from home, found that 49% reported a positive engagement impact when their cameras were on during online meetings, and only 10% felt they didn’t turn their cameras on. As leaders understand hybrid and remote work, they are faced with the challenge of deciding whether to encourage employees to leave their cameras on during meetings. This decision has a significant impact on communication, interaction and building trust within the team. I can confirm this from my own experience. help 21 organizations switched to long-term hybrid schemes of work.


Benefits of turning on cameras during meetings

There are several advantages to turning on cameras during video conferences.

Facial cues improve communication and build trust

Research shows that one of the main benefits of turning on cameras during virtual meetings is the ability to capture facial expressions. When we can see someone’s facial expression and body language, it can help us better understand their thoughts and feelings. Seeing a colleague smile, nod in agreement, or frown in confusion can provide valuable clues that are often lost in text communication. When team members feel more connected and in sync with each other, they are better equipped to work effectively together, resulting in better collaboration. This, in turn, leads to improved communication and increased trust between team members.

RELATED: Face-to-face meetings are important for SO many reasons


Helps in building relationships

The use of cameras during virtual meetings helps to improve relationships between team members, as scientists find. Visual cues, such as facial expressions and body language, play an important role in how we understand and interpret the emotions and intentions of others. By seeing these cues during virtual meetings, employees can better understand each other and strengthen relationships.

Better responsibility and focus

Another benefit of turning on cameras during virtual meetings. studies show, it’s improved accountability and focus. When the cameras are on, it sends a message to everyone that the meeting is important and serious business and everyone is expected to be fully engaged and focused.

Reduce distractions and multitasking

Turning on cameras during virtual meetings also helps reduce distractions or multitasking. according to researchers. When the cameras are on, team members are less likely to be distracted by distractions or multitasking as their faces and bodies are visible on screen.

Improves interaction

Improved communication between team members is another benefit that scientists have found associated with enabled cameras. It is easier for team members to communicate with each other and feel more interested in the meeting. This, in turn, can lead to better results for the company.


Sign of respect

Turning on cameras during virtual meetings, researchers find, serves as a sign of respect. When the cameras are on, it sends a signal to everyone that everyone fully respects the meeting and appreciates everyone’s time. This sends a positive message to their colleagues and helps build trust and camaraderie.


Recent survey from Vyopta, a software company, found that 92% of executives in mid-sized and large firms believe that workers who turn off cameras during meetings do not have a long-term future in the company. This points to the importance of turning on video cameras during virtual meetings. Managers believe that by turning on the cameras, employees demonstrate that they are serious about their work and take the meeting seriously.

Cons of turning on cameras during meetings

While there are a number of advantages to using cameras during video conferencing, there are several disadvantages to consider.

Privacy issues with enabled cameras

One of the main concerns with having cameras turned on during meetings is privacy. Research shows that some employees may feel uncomfortable with having their personal space constantly exposed and worried about being judged or controlled. This is especially true for employees who work from home, as their living space can be seen by colleagues during a video call.


Worried about being judged by living space

In the related note, the same research believes that worrying about being judged for his living space can also be a hindrance to virtual meetings. Employees may feel uncomfortable with having their home monitored and may worry that they will be judged based on their privacy.

Technical difficulties with enabled cameras

Another issue with turning on cameras during meetings is related to technical difficulties. scholarship. Poor lighting, camera angles, and internet bandwidth can all result in a sub-optimal viewing experience for everyone on the call. This can be especially challenging for employees who don’t have access to the latest technology or who don’t have the technical expertise to deal with these issues.

Related: 5 Ways to Host Effective Virtual Meetings with Your Remote Teams

Increased pressure to always look presentable

Research shows that turning on cameras during meetings can also increase the pressure on employees to always look presentable. This can lead to a more formal and less relaxed atmosphere during calls, which can be tiring for employees, especially women and new hires. recent scholarships find.

Fears and anxieties about the camera

For some employees, the thought of being in front of a camera during a meeting can be troubling. studies show. This can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and reduced participation in the call, which can be detrimental to the effectiveness of the meeting.

Concerns about micromanaging and monitoring

The feeling of being micro-watched and controlled can also be a disadvantage if cameras are on during meetings. scientists. Employees may feel like they are constantly being watched, which can lead to feelings of micromanagement.

So should we keep the cameras on or off?

When I show clients a study of pros and cons, they often sit with it for a while and then ask me what they should do. I tell them it’s hard to weigh the pros and cons without bias against each if you approach the matter from a binary perspective.

Instead, the key is to provide support to your employees to improve their ability to keep the cameras on. This included financial support to address the issue of lighting and Wi-Fi speed. It also included alleviating concerns about less formal dress and backgrounds creating negative impressions by changing the culture.

After that, employees should be informed about all the studies mentioned above. This information will help employees make more informed decisions about using their cameras.

Next provide education to its employees and develop a policy When they should keep the cameras on or off, not always turn them on or off. The primary consideration should be the benefits of using cameras to engage and communicate through non-verbal cues versus the disadvantages of exhaustion and tension, especially for women and junior employees.

In terms of training and policy, a key consideration is to encourage employees to ensure that those about to speak turn their cameras on. This is because when an employee speaks, their purpose is to communicate with others; they can do this much better if they turn on their cameras by transmitting non-verbal signals.

Then specify that in any meeting that involves making important decisions, all participants must turn on their cameras. After all, it is important for all participants in a decision-making session to be able to read other participants’ non-verbal cues: a large part of our decision-making process comes from our emotions and manifests itself in our non-verbal signals.

As a result, most meetings should not have cameras on by default, with the exception of high-level executive meetings where important decisions are being made all the time. There is no need to cause a leak and a decrease in employee productivity and well-being unless there is a good enough reason to do so.

By proactively addressing a range of employee concerns and a balanced approach to training and policies, my clients are discovering that they can find a win-win outcome that best balances employee well-being and meeting attendee engagement and communication.


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