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Zoom Gloom, or Zoom Boom?

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 5 October 2021 | 0 Comments

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5 October 2021
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Love it, or Loathe it: Zoom Has Kept Business Communications Going Over The Last 2 Years. But Is It Here To Stay? 

The Covid Era has seen the unexpected boom-time of video conferencing platform Zoom. Today, more than 3.3 trillion meeting minutes are logged on Zoom - up 3,000 percent on 2019.During Lockdown Zoom has been a godsend as user-friendly digital communication, bring families together during isolation and keeping business colleagues and clients connected. Critics are skeptical of its viability as long term alternative to face to face meetings, so will we forgo Zoom once COVID is no longer a threat in favour of eyeballing each other and pressing the flesh? 

Yes ✔️

ARGUMENTS FOR DITCHING ZOOM TO RESUME FACE TO FACE MEETINGS 

Zoom may have become a household name in the last 2 years, but it is time to move our collaboration from the virtual realm back to a physical presence. Screen meetings are a transactional exchange: you show up, there’s very little small talk, you make your pitch and then press a red button and it’s over. They may be “more efficient” than in-office ones but this comes at the expense of relationship building in order to develop a deeper, more meaningful business partnership. Zoom is now part of everyday vocabularies but not purely in a positive way, we are also discussing Zoom Fatigue and Zoom Burnout. These terms mean more than just a bit of eye strain, they reference to the negative impact that Zoom has on us as people. Emerging research shows that a considerable amount of  Zoom energy is spent replicating communication. The frustrations, wasted time, mental draining and poor efficiency can cause serious health issues. Too much Zooming can be  mentally tiring and cause problems to sustained performance levels. We become forgetful, our listening quality degrades and recording Zoom meetings for later viewing simply creates more energy sapping screen time. Increasing productivity? Not a chance if Zoom Overload kicks in. 

The psychological impact of spending hours each day on video calling platforms also found that too much direct eye contact isn’t helpful in many meetings settings either - In face-to-face meetings, we use non-verbal communication naturally and pick up on subtle non-verbal cues, which is virtually impossible when you’re a big head filling a screen. Establishing rapport and matching and pacing those you meet with are instinctive signals that tell the other person, “I am a friend; I’m with you; there’s no danger here” in normal face to face meetings. These signals, which have evolved over thousands of years of human beings living and working together, represent a huge amount of vital communication that doesn’t translate well in virtual meetings. 

No ✖️

ARGUMENTS FOR KEEPING ZOOM MEETINGS AND DITCHING FACE TO FACE  

Zoom is cost effective with a suite of easy, affordable plans that blast car allowances, mileage expenses and travel reimbursements out of the water. Digitally created to be super-easy to use, it is also slick and intuitive to operate with seamless transition to video together with Zoom Rooms for breakout project work, screen sharing and remote control for those who need more sophisticated features. Call quality is good with superb video and audio feedback. One of the reasons we have adopted Zoom into our lexicon so readily, is that it works so admirably.  Just as other brand names make their way into the dictionary, Zoom has now become a daily verb and a noun. We Zoom each other, we say “Let’s have a Zoom,” and there is still a novelty factor in the format - we get a feel for the people in our meeting by the style of meeting they hold, the background they choose, the method they use to order, schedule and take notes. And no way of meeting to discuss matters urgently,withoutwasting time and money,is matched by the immediacy that video conferencing offers. 

Psychologists claim that meetings via Zoom don’t allow neurons in the brain to be fully activated and chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin are released into your bloodstream. However, dating sites have been increasingly using digital hook ups for first dates, on the basis they are easier, cheaper, safer and immediate. Analysis of body language has proven that rapport can build once posture, movements and the tonality of the voice are observed - meetings, in lower doses and specific circumstances, can release the same chemicals cause us to fall in love.

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