Too much Zoom in the post-pandemic university

After the longest holiday I’ve had for years, I’ve started to feel seriously depressed about the quantity of Zoom meetings in my calendar over the coming weeks. I’m currently at an intensive workshop with long term collaborators where we’ve spent all day/evening talking to each other. It’s enjoyable to immerse yourself in interaction with others who share your interests and I’m not convinced you can replicate this intellectual sociability through video calls.

The flexibility which hybrid working affords is incredibly important and I’m conscious this is far more urgent for colleagues with caring responsibilities. But I still feel we need to get better at recognising the importance of face-to-face interaction and the physical and emotional consequences of spending entire afternoons on Zoom. I’m certainly not advocating a return to the status quo ex ante but I increasingly feel that face-to-face interaction should be prioritised where it is possible and where it adds value to a meeting.

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