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Why video conferencing makes employee collaboration difficult

Having mastered the technology of video calling, new research has been published showing that video conferencing can actually hinder collaboration. And the best solution may be to turn off the camera.

Ah paper When two teams recently published in the magazine PLOS One collaborate using video conferencing tools, leaving the camera on hinders voice communication compared to voice-only teams. It turns out that there is a tendency to be. Pairs who kept pointing the camera also scored low on tests that evaluated the team’s ability to solve problems together.

The results surprised the author of the study, Anita Williams Woolley, an associate professor of organizational behavior and theory at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. In a 2017 survey she conducted, collective intelligence showed the ability of employees working on projects through video conferencing to see and mirror facial expressions (such as smiling and frowning). It was suggested to be a strong predictor of team scores in the test.

The growing importance of video conferencing has spawned new research. Now, Dr. Woolley and fellow researchers have devised another experiment to see if workers using video capabilities have advantages over workers who collaborate from different locations and communicate only by voice. did.

Dr. Woolley’s team recruited 198 unfamiliar participants and randomly assigned them to a team of two. The pair were asked to collaborate in a collective intelligence test that measures their ability to generate ideas, make decisions, execute plans, and work together to remember what happened. Half of the pair was tested with the conference tool camera turned on. The other half used only audio features.

Why video conferencing makes employee collaboration difficult

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