It is no news that video meetings have received a gigantic boost during 2020. But as more meetings are held via video, other meeting trends have also emerged. I am mainly thinking of the habits many have adopted to now when you can attend meetings from the comforts of the home. In this blog post, I will list the 5 most common embarrassing things that happen during video meetings.
Prepare for a pretty whiny blog post….
1 Waves when we say hello and goodbye
Have you ever waved when you ended a physical meeting? Imagine the scenario that you get up, thank for a good meeting and take share each others hands. When you are about to leave the meeting room, you wave to each other.
No, it’s probably a rather unusual phenomenon. But when it comes to video meetings, people wave with entusiasm. And me personally, I am probably among the worst wavers of them all. I wave to say hello, I wave to get the word out and I wave goodbye. I understand that it can fulfill its function to wave, when people otherwise easily talk over each other. But it still feels a little embarrassing. Or is it just me who’s silly now?
2 Forget that we share screen
This has happened to me, and I’m still ashamed of it. On Facebook, I can always find today’s menu at our local lunch restaurant. During a video meeting, I shared my screen while the other participants sat in a lively discussion regarding various features that I did not really understand. Lunch was approaching and my stomach was rumbling. Quite routinely, I opened Facebook to be able to dream away to what would soon be consumed. To my horror, my meeting participants needed to remind me that it was my screen they were all looking at. A mistake I will NOT make again!
3 Has the camera at weird angles
We usually have the camera in our laptop and it is not uncommon to angle the screen to get a slightly more flattering angle, before a meeting. It sometimes happens that people put the computer a little too close to the face or on a slightly too low table, which means that the angle may not be the most flattering.
But it can be so much worse….
A colleague of mine told me about a video conference he had attended. He had called in to the meeting as usual, with the camera on. He shared his screen while they all collaborated on the project. But sometime during the meeting, he forgot that his camera was also on, and he put the computer in his lap. For the rest of the meeting, the meeting participants saw a zoomed-in image of the colleague’s stomach, in the upper right corner. To make matters worse, he was wearing a slightly too tight shirt, so that a gap had proudly shown off his navel. None of the meeting participants had dared to say anything during the meeting, but he found out the whole thing a week later.
4 Eat during video conferences
At internal meetings, it is okay to bring a fruit along with the obligatory coffee. However, I would never bring a yogi into a meeting with, for example, a new supplier. But “meeting-eating” has become an increasing trend when it comes to video meetings.
Of course, this may be due to the fact that we now tend to place the meetings directly after to each other. Which means that we do not have time for the snack we could otherwise have eaten. But “meeting-eating” has reached new heights in recent times. Pop corn, sandwiches and whole lunch boxes have been eaten during meetings I have attended. And when I saw (and listened to) that a bowl of corn flakes was consumed, with accompanying slurping sounds, I thought that it might have gone a little too far. If you are going to eat something that makes a lot of sounds, can we at least agree to mute the microphone?
5 Embarrassing cohabitants
The Internet is full of stories about people who have experienced the extremely embarrassing situation where partners passed by in the background wearing only underwear or singing a song at the top of their lungs. Working from home with your partner is not always easy. If you are having an important meeting, it can be good to try to find a little more secluded place or to tell your partner that it is important to behave during a certain time.
These were 5 common embarrassing things that happen during video meeting. But in addition to some minor embarrassments, the ability to hold effective meetings at a distance has helped many companies, especially during the past year.
A tip for you entrepreneurs:
To streamline distance collaboration, even more, you can also integrate your telephony solution into certain collaboration tools. With Soluno, for example, you can integrate the company exchange directly into well-known tools such as Teams or Slack and therefor get more in one and the same interface.