The Zoom revolution is on. With an unprecedented number of American workers signing in from home, digital meeting places (Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.) have become emblematic of business culture in this singular here and now: separate but together, unfamiliar and uncanny. And imperfect — perhaps particularly in the way they have become for many companies the default communication solution.
Susan Ascher, president and CEO of The Ascher Group, a consulting firm based in New Jersey, contributed:
Between you and me, they’re getting very annoying. It’s so funny to me: In this age in which everybody is texting and emailing and not wanting to pick up the phone, all of a sudden, everybody wants to Zoom! It’s an oxymoron. Maybe that Zoom call could just be a phone call!
Ascher’s takeaway: Understand the tool for what it is, and adjust accordingly.
I lead a mastermind, and once a month, [members of the mastermind and I] will meet for lunch together. One of them asked me if we could do a Zoom meeting, and I thought that made sense. Next week, one of my friends had a birthday on March 22, and instead of going out to dinner on March 31, we’re having a virtual Zoom cocktail with 10 people. That works — that’s fun. And I’ve had two virtual Zoom dates, with a person I met a while ago who popped back up, wanting to see how I was doing, and I said, ‘Why don’t we have a Zoom cocktail?’ And that was fun. There’s just a time and a place for it: Not every single chat wants to become a Zoom. Frankly, I think some bosses are needy in that respect and don’t know how to entertain themselves.