Video Calls: Why Turning Off Your Camera Can Be a Good Idea

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With remote working having become the norm over the past year, video calls have replaced traditional office meetings. Adjusting to this format can be challenging at first, especially now that you only see your team on video calls when you are accustomed to working with them in person.

A lot for people who are new to video calls wonder if they should leave their camera on or turn it off. This blog highlights some good reasons for choosing the second option.

Turning Off the Camera Can Help You Feel Less Self-Conscious

It is human nature for people to feel self-conscious when they know they are on camera. You may end up focusing so much on how nervous you feel that you end up spending most of the video call watching the camera. When that happens, you miss out on the discussion you were supposed to participate in and can come off as indifferent to your teammates. Turning the camera off during a video call eliminates the self-consciousness and allows you to focus only on spoken words.

Keep the Camera Off When You Want to Minimize Distractions for Others

If you have pets, kids, roommates, or a spouse who tend to interrupt you as you work, turning the camera off is a courtesy to others on the video call. While they might still hear others in your home trying to talk to you, it will be less distracting than having to view it as well. You might consider turning your microphone off but leaving the camera on if you expect distractions or many people are participating in the meeting. You can easily turn the microphone back on when it is your turn to speak.

Zoom Fatigue is Real

Maybe the concept of a video call was a novelty to you at first because it was different from the types of meetings you were accustomed to in the office. Now that you have been participating in Zoom meetings for several months to a year, you feel fatigued of them. That is normal and understandable.

One thing you can do to fight Zoom fatigue is turn the camera off. If you don’t need to be seen, it can give you a helpful reprieve. Listening to a presentation is a common example. Since the only requirement is for you to listen to the speaker, turning the camera off should be fine.

Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find your comfort zone with video calls. You should always follow the expected etiquette and respect other participants. If you need to turn off your camera occasionally, just ask your manager or team.


About the Author: Lisa Kroulik has worked as a freelance content marketing writer for 10 years. She loves the work and the lifestyle it affords. Learn more about Lisa’s work and availability through Writer Access.

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