26 Mar 2020

The 10 most awkward things about video calls

Suddenly spending a lot of time in video calls? With a quarter of the world now 'in lockdown', the video conference is fast replacing the in-person meeting. And whatever your seniority, the associated technological – and social – challenges are proving be a great leveller. Here's our countdown of the top 10 most awkward things about video calling. Have you experienced any of these over the last couple of weeks?

1.) The pre-chat: when people are slowly joining the call and you’re stuck small-talking with one or two others.

2.) The dodgy Wifi delay: when one participant's screen freezes in a less-than flattering pose.

3.) The shouter: when somebody feels they have to bellow to make themselves heard.

4.) Unwelcome interruptions (from your toddler, cat or spaniel).

5.) Regrettable background noises: the aforementioned toddler repeatedly screaming 'MUMMY!' at the top of their lungs while you're presenting your budget for the next quarter.

6.) The multi-speak: people talking over each other for extended periods before they realise there's someone else speaking at the same time.

7.) The invisible (wo)man: the participant who mysteriously keeps their video turned off, leaving a black square where their face should be.

8.) Weirdly precise meeting start times: when a company profile on Teams or Webex is so overloaded that you can’t get online at popular times, so you have to kick off your meeting at 11.07 instead of 11

9.) The longwinded wrap-up: the challenge of ending a call when you have nowhere else to be. Saying ‘I’ve got to run’ doesn’t really cut it when everyone knows you’re working from home.

10.) The irresistible urge to wave goodbye at the end of the call.

Anything to add? Share your experience in the comments section below.


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