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The Big Q: I REALLY hate video conferences – how do I get out of them?

Posted on 31/03/2020
by Client Server


Q: I'm a junior developer at a software house and I've been working from home for the past two weeks. We've replaced our usual morning standups with Zoom video conferences, but I'm not a fan of seeing my big giant face on video. I'd much rather just call in or disable my video, but I don't want to seem like I'm not a team player. What should I do?

A: It's unsurprising that with so many people working from home, video conferences have become popular. Google Hangouts and Zoom meetings are familiar fare for the tech industry, with many teams split across cities, countries and even continents. But familiarity with the tech doesn't necessarily equal comfort and not everybody wants to be on camera.

It's entirely reasonable to raise your discomfort with your manager or team lead. Explain that you want to contribute to the stand up but that you find the video platform difficult to adapt to. But rather than leaving it at that, go for a solutions-based approach. For example, explain that you're willing to contribute audibly and explain how that will be as valuable as being 'visual'. 

To fend off accusations of not being a ‘team player,’ you can find other ways to keep morale up. We’ve yet to meet a techie who doesn’t enjoy a good meme or pet pic. Little things can make a big difference.

The important thing is to be open and honest about how you feel. That way, the only one left in the dark is you when you switch your camera off.

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