I'm not tired yet.

The Zoom thing.

Two years ago this month was when I first downloaded the meetings and webinar-hosting app.

COVID-19 had become part of daily conversations and I had requested interviews with local mental health professionals to get comments on the impact social distancing might have.

One of them suggested we talk via Zoom; she and a colleague who would join the interview were already working remotely.

Less than a year into the pandemic, as employers tried hard to keep their team members connected, people started talking about Zoom fatigue. I've so far escaped it, despite regularly turning to Zoom, including just to chat with and simultaneously see my sister and brother who live in different cities.

Last year I upgraded to a paid account to avoid the time limits with just free access.

I've now participated in hundreds of Zoom sessions – whether interviewing sources, meetings for work, for church or with organizations I'm part of. 

Zoom seems a popular, if not preferred option, for many of the leadership, staff development and employee engagement and retention webinars organizations and businesses offer.

Zoom Video Communications on Feb. 28 reported more than $4 billion in revenue for its 2022 fiscal year that ended Jan. 31. That was up 55% from the previous year, the California-based company said in an earnings news release.

Other similar platforms – such as WebEx and GoTo Meeting – have likely seen increased usage, too, as pandemic life forced more virtual gatherings and less corporate travel. 

I love efficiencies.

With Zoom I can attend a meeting without allotting added time for travel, which depending on the meeting site can easily take 30 to 40 minutes. Bonus: I don't have to dress up – the way I would if I were in person – especially if participating with the video off is an option.

I have a favorite selfie photo uploaded to my Zoom profile so people can still “see” who I am – rather than the generic white icon symbolizing a person above a participant's name.

Speaking of icons, we've heard so much more about diversity, equity and inclusion in the past two years. It makes me wonder if Zoom will ever offer users generic people icons that reflect various skin tones? Hint, hint.

I do have empathy for the Zoom-fatigued, though. 

One friend has expressed more than once her preference for in-person meetings. She doesn't think the dialogue is the same on a Zoom platform because it's easier for people to wander off mentally – which affects engagement.

And certainly wandering is easy, too, if your video is off and distractions occur.

Engagement, however, depends partly on the topic and the host. The same can be said for in-person meetings.

I certainly don't think I'm less engaged – or come up with any fewer observations or suggestions – when on a Zoom meeting than I would in person.

This pandemic both forced and taught us to do some things differently, even though platforms like Zoom and WebEx predated the coronavirus by years.

As we continue into our new normal, I'm hoping effectiveness and efficiency helps guide our organizational choices. But one thing that will never change: pleasing everyone is nearly impossible.

Other labels

In the Feb. 27 Lead On, I shared an intriguing spin that workplace and leadership consultant Kevin Eikenberry built a webinar around: “Secrets to Turning the Great Resignation into the Great Revival.” That's a positive way of looking at the mass employee exodus many employers have been experiencing.

On a webinar last week, one speaker mentioned a couple other labels she's recently heard in that same line of thought: “Great Reinvention” and “Great Redesign.”

Just maybe, the glass isn't half empty but still half full.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at lisagreen@jg.net. Lead On also appears online as a blog at www.journalgazette.net/blog/lead-on/.