Turn off your camera then!
As someone who has worked remotely for more than fifteen years, in tech, on conference calls and video conferences, I can say pretty authoritatively for me personally that:
- in person meetings are a great way to focus on a meeting while sapping productivity anywhere else. They have their place but it sure as heck isn’t a panacea.
- Phone calls (or being a dial-in caller in an in-person meeting or zoom) make it really obvious how deficient phones as a medium are. You miss out on a ton of information and context.
- Video conferencing that does not have audio issues is pretty incredible for replacing most of what I cared about in in-person meetings, but does allow for participants to be less focused on the meeting (which is both good and bad).
It’s super-important to point out that unless you were an enterprise, #3 above was NOT prevalent for most people before Zoom. Slack / hangouts / etc had terrible audio quality and echos and drop-outs that made them far less productive than zoom meetings. Zoom’s killer feature IMHO is audio quality, latency, and general tolerance to the modern internet first, with better video secondary.
Most of my team and internal meetings have video. very very few of my meetings with external folk do. At that point they are phone calls, at a quality far, far greater than telephony ever was, especially shitty conference bridges.
zoom calls without video but with screenshares are such a useful feature I would give up my desk phone just to have that option every time I need to co-ordinate with external (or internal) folks on that basis alone. We recently had an issue with a 3rd party vendor where they were able to screenshare and see the issue in realtime in a way that would have suuuuuuuucked to do with a phone bridge and tickets/emails.
Like, seriously. Turn off video and don’t require your folks to have video on if they don’t want it. At that point it’s just a way better phone call.