10 Ways to Make Video Meetings More Inclusive

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The extroverts, the alphas, and those firmly in the majority demographic have always been the people most comfortable contributing to a workplace meeting. Now that the pandemic has precipitated a massive transition to remote working, there’s a danger that everyone else will find it even harder to be heard. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, video calls are draining. Our brains need to work harder to process nonverbal behaviors, including body language and tone of voice, when communicating in two dimensions. This adds another layer of complexity when meeting attendees attempt to calculate the appropriate time to jump into a conversation without being ignored, interrupted, or feeling insecure. Then there’s the technical glitches, the poor WiFi, the caring responsibilities, the wayward pets, the people you’re now sharing home office space with, the slightly alarming awareness that your colleagues can see into your private sphere. Academics writing for the Harvard Business Review highlight that those who have had to contend with negative racial stereotypes in the workplace are wary of being scrutinized by people viewing their home décor and family life through a webcam.

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