It’s unclear how many Zoom or Teams calls you may need to participate in over the next twelve months.
As many will be encouraged to return to their offices, video conferencing may be replaced by a return to communicating with the person in the next booth via Slack or IM, while you are still wearing your headphones.
Some companies, however, are still determined to create new ways to profit from thevideoconferencing facilities.
The one that just appeared under my eyebrows offers a service that many will appreciate. I’m also worried that many will appreciate it.
The folks at Grain have created a way in which you can, in the company’s own words, “include your team in the room where it happened”.
I’m afraid many of your team are perfectly happy to hear your version of what happened in the room. I’m afraid many would not have wanted to be in this room even if you paid them in extra donuts.
Grain, however, is a real-time recorder that lets you caption and create mini-videos of the best parts of your Zoom meeting. Yeah, the part where your boss said half the customers are fools. Or the part where someone burped during the sales pitch.
Of course, we can see the uses. Good practices, what. Some can be a bit manipulative.
Make a short clip, send it to your entire team, and they’ll see how brilliantly you intercepted a silly comment on the sales manager’s future strategy.
That way, they will see that you really are the wonderful boss that you always told them you are.
On the other hand, I have concerns.
It looks like anyone in the meeting can create these clips. How much more powerful will it be for a lower level employee to make a clip of their boss being an idiot and then send it (quietly, safely) to selected team members?
It’s one thing to hear about someone’s disastrous performance in a meeting. It is quite another to witness it, to replay it and, in modern parlance, to share it with many others.
What if a disgruntled employee makes a clip, quits, and then posts it on Twitter? A delightfully difficult prospect, to be sure.
Perhaps, however, I am more concerned with domestic life.
At the end of the working day, your important lover will ask you how your day went. You could normally talk about a good or a bad meeting. You could also talk about difficult personal interactions.
With Grain, however, you might be tempted to offer your loved ones daily videos of your meetings that might get them into deep inner turmoil.
Work is something you have to give up in order to have a successful personal life. Now, you might be tempted to have a trove of videos, to show anytime and any inappropriate occasion.
It was supposed to be a romantic dinner, but then …
“And I’m the one telling the purchasing manager that he has no idea …”
“Sir, is the medium rare tenderloin for you?” “