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Six Reasons we hate Zoom meetings…and what to do about it.

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

These are highlights of factoids covered in our remote-work quizzes. We can customize remote-work quizzes and/or return-to-work/adapt-to-work quizzes. Just ping us here.


They take place in the privacy of your own home. They generally start and end on time. You don’t have to get dressed up. Always plenty of free parking. No dry cleaning bills. And probably other things that would be TMI. Surveys focus on these and other upsides:

Yet somehow many employees hate Zoom meetings. Why are Zoom meetings so stressful?

This edition of Six Things explores why you should validate, mitigate, and even solve those employee stresses, rather than dismiss them, or think they are all in someone’s head.

(1) No non-verbal cues

Non-verbal cues are very helpful. Some psychologists will tell you that body language is even more important than language in conveying feelings. Lacking this connection in a Zoom meeting, or trying to overcome it with sustained eye contact, can be very stressful. You can feel like you are talking into a wall. How are people reacting? Should you pivot? Pause? Slow down? Speed up? You just don’t know.

(2) No verbal cues

You have to connect with your audience when you present. You can feel that connection when you have it. That's why a comedian often says: "You've been a great audience.” They are appreciating the connection. But, on Zoom, typically all except the speaker are muted.

(3) Difficulty in spurring a natural discussion

Only one person can be comfortably heard at a time on Zoom meetings. This makes reticent people even more reticent to join the discussion. The reverse is true too – people who have a lot to add may be reluctant to speak up. Or, people with nothing to add may dominate, due to force of personality.

(4) Inadequate technology

Not many years ago, free streaming of real-time video meetings into your living room would have been sounded like a miracle. That miracle, like many technology miracles, has morphed into an entitlement.

It’s amazing how quickly the miracle-to-entitlement transition takes place. Example: when a low-quality call on a balky airphone cost $2/minute, no one would have ever guessed we would soon be downloading entire documents from the sky. And yet, think of how annoyed you are these days, when you have to disconnect below 10,000 feet.

Zoom is jouncy. It freezes. It blurs. Some of this takes place below our conscious awareness: Our brains strain to fill in the gaps and make sense of the disorder, which makes us feel vaguely disturbed, uneasy and tired without quite knowing why.”

(5) Self-consciousness about your appearance.