Hackernoon logoHas Zoom Made Us "Embrace the Dark Side" of Humanity? by@michael-brooks

Has Zoom Made Us "Embrace the Dark Side" of Humanity?

Nearly 25% of employees got fired for Zoom gaffes made in virtual meetings, according to a survey. "Mortal-virtual-sins" include “joining a call late, having a bad Internet connection, accidentally sharing sensitive information, and of course, not knowing when to mute yourself’s voice. If you are a true professional there's no app that can make you “embrace the dark side” Maybe it's time to talk openly about it with your bosses, colleagues, and employees.
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Michael Brooks Hacker Noon profile picture

@michael-brooksMichael Brooks

An award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, and author.

Zoom has seen a mind-blowing boom in the number of users during the pandemic. 

Zoom went from 10 million daily users in December 2019 to 300 million daily users in April 2020. Hardly anybody was surprised, let alone worried. Why would we? Zoom has become a synonym for work-from-home. Let’s jump on a Zoom call is still one of the most commonly used lines these days. 

What could possibly go wrong? Zooming is blooming. Right?

Mama Said, "Zoom You Out"

I stumbled upon a Bloomberg article with an axing title: “Zoom-Call Gaffes Led to Someone Getting Axed, 1 in 4 Bosses Say.”

According to the results of a survey conducted by Vyopta Inc., which included “200 executives at the vice president level or higher at companies with at least 500 employees,” nearly 25% of employees got fired. Why?!

“For slipping up during a video or audio conference,” and “for gaffes made in virtual meetings.”

Wait! What?

What in the world do you need to do during a Zoom call or any other virtual meeting or conference to get fired?

It turns out that “mortal-virtual-sins” include “joining a call late, having a bad Internet connection, accidentally sharing sensitive information, and of course, not knowing when to mute yourself.”

Why So Zoomerious?

I’d been working remotely for almost ten years when the pandemic struck. I lost count of how many people I’ve hired directly or through my freelance platform goLance.

Yes, I had to fire some of them because they left me with no other choice.

Yes, sometimes I had to use Zoom or some other app to deliver the bad news directly and in real-time.

No, a virtual call wasn’t my only option, but it’s better to talk than write a “Dear John” email, don’t you think?

I’ve never fired anyone because of Zoom “slip-ups.”

Don’t we all live and work in the real world, whatever is that supposed to mean nowadays? There was a baby crying loud in the middle of a meeting with my staff. I asked a proud dad, a member of our team, to introduce an adorable noisemaker. The baby joined and stayed throughout a meeting in her father’s arms. There was another team member who kept forgetting to hit the mute button when she wasn’t talking. The background noise was deafening as if she was calling from the busiest construction site in the world. Did she get fired? Did she get sanctioned? Yes, of course, “severely sanctioned.” 

For the next meeting, the whole team pretended that there was something wrong with her mic. It lasted for a couple of hilarious minutes. Since then, we’ve never had to remind someone to mute themselves. 

I have a thousand of these Zoom gaffe stories to share. Nobody got “zoomed.”

The Virtual Reflection of Someone’s Real Imperfection 

I still remember how the pre-pandemic world used to look, especially when it comes to business. If you are a true professional there’s no app that can make you “embrace the dark side.”

Are all of these Zoom gaffes and slip-ups some kind of “revolt?” I don’t know. Maybe it’s time to talk openly about it with your bosses, colleagues, and employees. Are you Zooming too much? Again, why don’t you discuss it and come up with a win-win solution?  

It never crossed my mind that Zoom or any other similar app would become a Terminator that’s eliminating instead of boosting jobs. What can I say? Either behave in front of a camera or find a boss who isn’t a Zoomaniac. 

I’m an optimist. I still believe that one day, we will look back at our virtual gaffes and slip-ups, and laugh. 

That’s all virtual folks. Time for me to jump on another Zoom call. Stay safe, and stay focused.

This article was also published at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/has-zoom-become-wfh-jobs-killer-michael-brooks

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