Is teamwork possible online? Let’s Zoom less.
Stick together like speedy WiFi on a zoom call.
Stall. That is what we do. When we break away from thoughts. Ignoring other people’s ideas.
Tossed out of a room for spotty WiFi, or so they say.
Stay. Tell me your idea. I promise I will listen.
Maybe, even let it glisten.
Listen, do work as a team. Beam a light on the creative, fun, and sturdy.
That way, we all win.
What if we start trying to mute people in person each time we don’t like a sound other than our voice?
In life, will we mute a human when we are sleepy?
Turn off our cameras when we don’t like how we look?
What if we start turning around each time we hear a sound other than our voice?
Hide camera. No, that’s not it. Hey Siri, turn off the camera. Oh crap, it’s not working.
What stops people from wanting to collaborate?
The shocking reason why people hate teamwork 👇🏼. That’s clickbait.
WHAT. Another smart person. A creative person can ruin and destroy that bubble.
Maybe, even popping it only to make another, newer, bubble.
Not so shocking when you think harder. Many people worked hard to succeed.
To earn their place in a prestigious well-deserved bubble of glamour.
Meanwhile, most cases of jealousy, start with insecurity. Fear.
Will I be replaced? I won’t be special anymore.
Online, it is even harder to discern between people. Damn, facial expressions and charisma are absent.
This leaves more space for wanting to shine or rather outshine.
Yet, teamwork is beneficial to mental health. Besides, making people feel included, it fosters out-of-the-box thinking.
Also, lessening loneliness, which a growing concern.
Spotty Wifi kills teamwork
Does technology and teamwork = success?
Spotty wifi. Stuck. So, an awkward pause.
That can ruin the flow of a team meeting. How rude.
A frozen screen is sometimes mistaken for an inattentive person.
Depending on where you live this may be more or less of a problem.
Here in Lebanon, WiFi and electricity are unreliable.
Hence, it is confusing why there are such long and seemingly never-ending zoom conversations.
Most of the time, a conversation goes like this. Hi, we are here— you never quite hear the rest of a conversation.
Interestingly, an editorial piece suggested using pre-recorded patient information to avoid communication challenges via zoom.
I think the same logic can be applied to any work environment.
If anything can be pre-recorded and shared in another way, why share it on a zoom call?
Especially, boring monotone instructions and tutorials.
The problem with Zoom
Ok, Zoom made it possible for the world and businesses to run. Kudos to the creators 👏.
However, certain aspects of Zoom are fatigue-inducing.
There is something unnatural about looking at yourself as you speak. Maybe, that is why we are so tired and drained.
That is too much “me time” for most people, except, possibly, if you love looking at yourself in the mirror.
Yet, I never wanted to look at myself as I speak.
Painfully aware of the way my face crunches and the uncanny frown lines I make when I disagree with something.
A recent 2021 argumentative article suggested that zoom fatigue can be the result of too much self-evaluation from staring at oneself in the video. I think I agree.
Looking at so many people at once, in boxes is also a bit funny.
Choosing “speaker view” can help give others our undivided attention, well as good attention as you can give at home, to the speaker.
Is zoom here to stay?
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic virtual teamwork is now a reality for many businesses.
Small businesses, large corporations, and startups are all influenced by zoom.
Zoom is the answer for many people, conveniently able to close the cameras while they hold their baby or care for the sickly mom.
On the other hand, desperately wanting to be in an office to stop hearing the sounds of kids yelling while working.
As the world seems to be opening up again and vaccines are spreading. Will Zoom remain?
It can certainly help when having cross-border meetings.
However, more forced meetings are not the answer.
People are tired of verbal cues. Tired of seeing a person without feeling their aura.
A robotic conversation wasting time. Since half the time people on the other side can’t listen.
Yes, let’s talk less Zoom.
Ask your team what works for them. Is zoom draining them? If it is, maybe shorten the sessions.
More importantly, virtual team-building activities are needed to build team morale.
But team building activities need to be viewed as positive. Not a waste of time.
- Let team building and meetings that are non-project related be optional. That way, the people who are there want to build connections.
- Use Email and phone calls when possible. Focus on projects vs. meetings. Look, most people can Whatsapp each other or Email each other the information they need.
Better yet, let people pick their days to play team-building games.
A smaller team or group can easily maintain flexible schedules that take into consideration different time zones- inclusive of worker’s needs.
Less is more.
If remote work is here for the long run, then virtual teamwork needs to be addressed by HR specialists.
- Virtual simulation- Let group members take practice tests together, at the same time. Teamwork like any other skill needs training. Problem-solving through simulation practices can help lower stress related to skill management.
- Common goals- A sense of teambuilding needs common values/goals alongside motivation, leadership, and accountability.
- Rewards– Now, that makes matters interesting. Lure people away from their distractions. Rewards are bait.
Defining teams for success. Getting teamwork done online.
Teamwork is about more than clicks. More than who raises their hand first.
No, a solo-builder who leads the pack is not a leader at all. Monopolization does not work.
A team leader does not leave a man or woman behind. Thus, let’s keep teams small for everyone to be heard.
Virtual teams cover different cultures, time zones, and geo-locations. Also, change. So much change.
Hence, training needs to be provided for learning technology. Virtual teamwork draws on collective/shared mental models.
Technology-assisted exchanges may incorporate team shadowing to exchange knowledge.
Mitigate the need to debrief workers, by dividing tasks according to skills.
Conclusion: More teamwork in person 🤞
In conclusion, employers need to address the changing norms in the workplace. Think digital.
What can businesses and schools do about workplace fatigue?
Use zoom less. Stop making unnecessary meetings. Use Zoom and all its technological advances only when needed.
I started this post by asking, is teambuilding is possible online?
This year proved that friendships and relationships can be built and maintained online.
However, we might not have to do this for much longer. Slowly, but surely things are opening up again.
We won’t take for granted sipping coffee with colleagues in meeting rooms again.
Hopefully, this article will be irrelevant in a month.
For now, too much technology has gotten to my brain, even making me wonder if my laptop has feelings.
Do you sigh every time you hear let’s have a zoom meeting?