SQLServerCentral Editorial

Making Video Chat Better

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I ran across an article on Zoom fatigue and new tech that was written in July 2020. That month seems like ages ago, and at the same time, not too long ago as the world seems to have still been in some sort of suspended animation for much of 2020 and 2021. However, one thing that has remained since that time is a regular stream of Zoom and Teams meetings that I attend.

I've been dealing with video meetings for over a decade. For most of the time I've worked for Redgate, I've had regular meetings every week with various people that are in Cambridge, UK. I'm in Denver,  US, and while I enjoy going to England and visiting the office, that's a few times a year. Across the years, we've tried a number of platforms, and various different configurations, including a dedicated conference room with extra mics and sound-absorbing padding on the walls. None of this made for a great experience, though I have to say our adoption of Zoom across the last 2-3 years has been the best experience overall.

Still, when I have multiple meetings in a day, I feel fatigued. Many people feel similarly, and that has not gone unnoticed. While we do try to cut down on some of the meetings as a company, they aren't going away entirely for us, or likely, for your company. Some companies are going back to the office, at least part-time, but many employees are resisting, which means we need better tech. Something I hope is coming.

The article I linked above talks about some of the changes taking place, with some newer tech being tried. I don't know I'll ever like video chat without some sort of VR-style view of a room or holograms, but perhaps something will come along that makes these meetings better. I've certainly found that having larger views of speakers is good, but when they rapidly switch from one person to another it feels like a 5-year old directing a live TV show. I want to turn off my video and just listen. Or end the call.

One thing that I've found helps is I try hard to get more done through Slack and email, avoiding meetings that aren't needed. The best way to combat something that doesn't work well for me is to do less of it, so I work to minimize video, type more, and hope for more live face-to-face meetings a few times a year.

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