Never mind your video — turn *incoming* video off.

May 1, 2021

Much ink has been spilled about whether you should turn your video on or off when you are on a conference call like zoom or teams or Google Meet. Some people say it’s rude to keep the video off when others have it on and video on helps to better connect with other participants. Others say normalizing video off is good to combat Zoom fatigue and that your video stream distract from conversation if it doesn’t intentionally add. personally, I am on the “video off by default team”, whether whether you’re with me or not I’d like you to consider turning incoming video off.

most of my video meetings these days are on Microsoft Teams and that service has an option of turning off incoming video. I’m guessing the reason the feature is there is for bandwidth reasons but that’s not my concern. I found having to stare at many different video feeds to be just really really distracting. One on one with my boss? No problem video on all day. But having to look at for incoming streams it’s just extremely taxing and distracting. Not to mention most of the time we’re also sharing a screen which is really where my attention should be focused. what’s really good about this feature is it at a per participant setting. The other participants don’t know if you’re watching the video or not of course. It also doesn’t stop them from pushing their video out to other participants.

No need to make a big deal out of this on the call. Just turn incoming video off and don’t mention it. You will find the meeting much more productive. I guarantee it.