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I just started a remote position as an individual contributor. In orientation and mentioned several times in training, it was expressed that we are expected to be on video during meetings. In practice, so far, no one uses video. This company is going through a huge growth spurt, from 40 to nearly 600 at last count, so most people are new.

My manager (also newish) was wishy-washy about it when asked directly. None of my direct teammates use video. So far none of the management uses video. In calls with external clients, the external clients nearly always use video while the people in my company do not.

Do I just buck the trend and keep my video on? Or do I go with the flow as the new(er) guy? 

scm2423's picture

I would use video as it is the expectation put forth by the company and while not being the same as face-to-face is better than just being a voice in someone's ear.  Be professional and do not let the group norm drag you down. Would you be five minutes late to every call if that is what others were doing? 

Mr.Shaw's picture

You make some great points, thank you. I'm under a lot of pressure to make this work...I left my job after 17 years to take on this remote opportunity and my wife is skeptical. To be honest so am I--it seems too good to be true.

I will take your advice and keep that video camera on! I was leaning that way anyway, but it helps to have a second opinion.

Steve-O's picture

I start every meeting with my camera on.  If it doesn't influence people to turn theirs on, then I switch it off after a minute.  Even meeting that I know the other don't, I still do.  Every once in a while, I get somone to flip their camera on, then it cascades to the whole group, except maybe the one person in their PJs.

 

ilkhan's picture

Hi Mr. Shaw, 

I will almost always use video for calls and meetings, even if it is a meeting I am not expected to participate in or even if other are not using video.  I use video because we cannot meet in person and this is the best I can do to build and maintain relationships within my team and with folks who outside of my team.  I think seeing people and even limited body language can help with the communication.  I also use video because I hope it shows that I'm paying attention.  

Some of the folks I work with rarely turn on their camera and that's ok but I think if you have your camera on they will be more likely to have theirs on as well.