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To not want a webcam

(33 Posts)
Ghostlyglow Thu 11-Jun-20 21:23:22

WFH for the foreseeable. It's an admin job that a couple of 100 of us do (NHS) that doesn't involve much interaction or meetings, in the office it would be possible to go for days without even talking to anyone much. The managers have issued us all with webcams this week "so we can see each other in meetings". We use Teams which works fine with just audio. I just don't like it and I don't even know why really, aside from the fact that all the money spent on crap like this annoys me.

OP’s posts: |
NatashaAlianovaRomanova Thu 11-Jun-20 21:26:30

I don't like them either & leave the slide covering the one on my work laptop during teams calls. In all honesty when it's one to one calls I'd rather just use my phone so that I can be getting on with work while on calls but people insist on using teams.

parietal Thu 11-Jun-20 21:55:38

I like the webcam for one to one meetings where I really need to have a proper conversation with the other person. but if you are doing group calls or listening to a lecture, then they just use up bandwidth and don't help anyone.

Purpleartichoke Thu 11-Jun-20 23:38:55

I hate it, but I have given in. My boss is a big fan. I still feel pressure to have better hair and makeup than I would in the office, but I’m starting to get past it. It helps that several meetings have found my boss fresh out of the shower or pool in sweats.

letmethinkaboutitfornow Fri 12-Jun-20 08:00:55

YABu - what’s your main issue with it? Figure it out. This day and age a ‘just because’ is not sufficient enough and you may find that you’ve been replaced with someone more digitally literate / flexible.

theonlywayisapple Fri 12-Jun-20 08:03:09

You’re being difficult without a valid reason

christmassausages Fri 12-Jun-20 08:06:20

Sit with your back to a window; that way you will just be a shadow smile
I also keep a post it note over the camera unless I'm using it - slight paranoia grin

Ghostlyglow Fri 12-Jun-20 08:08:54

I've gone to work from home. Turned one of my rooms into an office (it's a small 2 up 2down house) my internet connection isn't great at the best of times and not good enough for my partner to be able to use it while I'm working and now they're inviting themselves into my home via a webcam.

OP’s posts: |
Ifailed Fri 12-Jun-20 08:13:01

is it your PC, or work's?

letmethinkaboutitfornow Fri 12-Jun-20 08:13:21

Blur your background 😔😔

You said you hardly have meetings
Up your internet and or switch off every other devices ( iPads, phones, tv...etc) it’s likely to last for a while

This is the new ‘norm’ why are you so difficult?

LellyMcKelly Fri 12-Jun-20 08:14:03

Do you hide behind a screen in real face to face meetings? If not why on earth would you expect to do it online? We have a few of our team refusing to use webcams and, as we’re moving much of our business online in the future, they will be first in line for redundancy - we need people who can engage and operate as effectively online as they can face to face.

dun1urkin Fri 12-Jun-20 08:15:38

They won’t see in your home if you put a background on. You know that they already know what you look like, don’t you? grin

I am yet to hear a rational reason why cameras shouldn’t be used. I’m not saying there isn’t one though, would be happy to be told there’s something I’ve not thought about

midgebabe Fri 12-Jun-20 08:15:40

It's good to see people you know well and it can help the conversation when you know their body language and it makes presentations much more engaging

dontdisturbmenow Fri 12-Jun-20 08:18:58

Of course your unreasonable if you can't even say why. If you hardly ever have meeting, what's the issue?

P0lka Fri 12-Jun-20 08:19:25

To be fair, the quality is so shit on mine, I look better than I do with make up - gives a nice soft lense!

I find it so much easier with a webcam on group calls.its easier to know when I can speak without interrupting people, as you can see their body language etc, you can gauge people's responses more honestly, and tell when you're being listened to.

The fact people wont use their webcam so they can only half listen,and continue working on other stuff, shows exactly why your management want them!

KatherineJaneway Fri 12-Jun-20 08:22:31

I prefer people to put their cameras on in meetings. I like to see the people I am talking to, helps the flow of the meeting / presentation.

Besides, changing your Teams background is great fun grin

letmethinkaboutitfornow Fri 12-Jun-20 08:25:00


To be fair, the quality is so shit on mine, I look better than I do with make up - gives a nice soft lense!

I have a very good brand but I love that it ‘enhances’ my look. Hardly need to apply makeup and my skin looks flawless 😂😂
It can shock the team members when they see me in real life 😂

notheragain4 Fri 12-Jun-20 08:26:26

It's not crap. As someone who is managed and manages remotely in times outside of Covid, video meetings are a really important part of building rapport and trust. Without video it is just a phone call and that is not an appropriate way to manage or work long term, you can't have a difficult management conversation via phone call for example. It creates presence. You will get used to it, be grateful you have it as an option.

autumnboys Fri 12-Jun-20 08:29:37

I did some training on teams the other day and the first thing they did was to ask us all to turn our cameras and mics off. They said it gets laggy with all the pictures up, something about bandwidth. And my boss has circulated an article saying that you’re probably more effective if you can’t see yourself on screen when you’re in a meeting. So we can see him but I don’t think he can see himself. That might be worth trying.

I have grown accustomed to this sight of my own face on a call, so it doesn’t really bother me. I think you’ll have to give it a try. Good luck.

Claudia1987 Fri 12-Jun-20 08:45:41

I tend to find the people who turn off their cameras are doing it so they can be free for distractions .... a WhatsApp message, scroll on Facebook, a question from a child. Then when you question them about it they because very defensive and tell you ofc they are listening.....hmmm.
If your camera is on you have to make the effort to look like you are actively listening. I would be very annoyed if you were my employee and weren't engaging - you sound like you are just being difficult.

motorcyclenumptiness Fri 12-Jun-20 08:46:18

YANBU. It's an invasion of privacy and it's totally unnecessary - I might need to share your screen to do my job, I don't need to see your face/laundry/cat/bookshelves. The fact that there is so much discussion around what colleagues look like and what's going on in the background during video meetings indicates how distracting it is and the idea that you need to see an image of someone to work with them is very dated.

notheragain4 Fri 12-Jun-20 08:48:43

@motorcyclenumptiness you do realise you can block others from seeing what's behind you? If it's an invasion of your privacy it's only because you are letting it be, it's no more invasive than expecting your physical presence at a meeting. You can not have the same level of interaction on an audio call.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 12-Jun-20 08:50:14

I've been working from home for 25 years. I've never used a webcam. Screens are used for screen sharing of documents etc.

* video meetings are a really important part of building rapport and trust. Without video it is just a phone call and that is not an appropriate way to manage or work long term, you can't have a difficult management conversation via phone call for example.*

Maybe that's your perception but it's absolutely not mine. Of course you can build trust and have difficult conversations without video, people have been doing it forever, webcams are a recent invention, and in non work situations people still use normal phone calls for all sorts of conversations.
I'd call into question the management skills of anyone who can't manage effectively without video.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 12-Jun-20 08:53:14

Maybe I'm expecting professionalism from all sides though, not the sort of behaviour Claudia suspects people of.

notheragain4 Fri 12-Jun-20 08:54:31

@ErrolTheDragon you can passively aggressively make comment on my management skills all your want. I have literally just done some training organised by my union that explicitly stated difficult conversations must not be done via audio call.

If you've been working from home 25 years perhaps you just haven't moved along with the times very well, my mum isn't a fan of audio calls either or some of the longer serving members of staff I work with. I can be passive aggressive too.

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