Researchers from Marquette University in Wisconsin wanted to see if the ability to see one’s self during a conference call or virtual meeting led to decreased productivity. The study took two groups of people, and assigned them a project that would require high levels of communication, collaboration, and problem solving. Group A was able to see themselves in a video chat window (a la Skype, Face-Time, or Google Chat where one can see their own image in the corner), Group B was unable to see themselves. The study showed that the group that couldn’t see themselves was more productive and were overall more satisfied with the collaboration and teamwork that took place. With an estimated 46% of organizations using virtual teams, it seems that covering up one’s own face in a virtual chat could lead to less distraction and higher productivity.
- But new research suggests that video chat in the workplace may hurt your job performance
- Seeing yourself on-screen during video chats takes your focus away from the task at hand
- One low-tech solution is placing a sticky note on your monitor to cover your image
“When you see yourself on-screen, it takes your focus away from the task at hand. You’re thinking about how you look, sound and act, instead of focusing on the work.”