Zoom is actually less effective than a phone call for these types of meetings

You know how we’ve all been glued to Zoom for a year in an effort to mimic the face-to-face cues of meetings? Zoom might not be the best way to do that.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University studied the effectiveness of collaboration and group efforts on video and audio calls, and they were surprised by their own findings: Videoconferencing hampered group collaboration and problem solving.

“We found that video conferencing can actually reduce collective intelligence,” says coauthor Anita Williams Woolley, associate professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. “This is because it leads to more unequal contribution to conversation and disrupts vocal synchrony. Our study underscores the importance of audio cues, which appear to be compromised by video access.”

Her findings are published in PLoS One, and include the line, “our findings call into question the necessity of video.”


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