Traditionally, workplace policies are dull, often unread, documents used by employers to convey expectations of employee behaviour.
If recent events are any guide, certain policies may have to be changed.
Recently a “New Yorker” reporter was suspended after he masturbated (yes, really) during a Zoom video call with colleagues. Apparently he didn’t realise his camera was on. “I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video”. Muted the video… huh?
If this is the baseline we are working with, I don’t think it will be enough for future video-conferencing policies to simply say: “Assume the camera and sound are always on”.
Policies are going to have to be very prescriptive in order to protect employees from sexual harassment, anguish, and themselves.
So, I have rounded up some of the “Class of 2020” and drafted a potential policy…
WORKPLACE VIDEO CONFERENCE SURVIVAL POLICY
- Do not do anything during a video-conference that you would not do in person.
- Assume everything you say and do in a video-conference will end up on YouTube.
- During a video-conference do not:
a. Masturbate – (search: “soon to be former New Yorker writer”)
b. Have s*x – (search: “Philippines Government Official Caught having S*x on Zoom”)
c. Shower – (search: “Man Takes Shower During Video Call with Brazilian President, Forgets to Switch off the Camera”)
d. Get changed – (search: “Mexican Senator accidentally goes topless on Zoom meeting”)
e. Go to the toilet – (search “Poor Jennifer! Zoom bathroom video meeting blunder goes viral” – no I am not the “Jennifer”!)
f. Become a potato – (search: “Boss Accidentally Conducts Zoom Meeting As A Potato”). [Actually, that was hilarious. Become a potato, if you want to].
Take Away Point: If you conduct video-conferences alone, with your hands above the desk, with your clothes on, and away from bathrooms, everything should be just fine.