The Unspoken Benefits of Online Video Calls

Marcus J. Fila, Ph.D.
4 min readOct 5, 2020
Photo by visuals on Unsplash

As our response to covid-19 continues, many professional workplaces are transitioning more activities online. This transitions has not been universally popular, to say the least. One such change is more online video calls.

The downsides seem obvious: a lack of face-to-face contact, the potential for technical issues to dampen the flow of communications, and perhaps a feeling of inauthenticity about our dealings. Online video calls can also seem to be more draining (particularly for introverts), there’s a whole new set of do’s and don’ts to master; and studies have shown that slight delays when we see people’s reactions (due to the technology), can make us feel anxious about whether our messages are being well received, and communicated effectively.

In short, virtually all — if not in fact all of us — want normal to return; and video calls seem to be an inadequate substitute for how we feel designed to communicate and interact. However, there are several advantages to zoom (or other such online video) calls with regards to our work stress, productivity, and well-being. These are different to those offered in another recent article, on HBR.

Quickly Arranged Meetings. However much we dislike meetings, surely one of the hardest things about them is finding time for everyone involved to be in a given location, often times well dressed, amidst ongoing commitments. With online video calls, it’s been remarkable how quickly meetings have been able to be put together, with people either in their office, at home, or elsewhere (often times outside these past few months!). Of course, this might lead to more meetings in some cases, but…

Most People Don’t Want to Drag Meetings Out. There seems to be a culture developing of not only adaptation to online meetings, but a shared acceptance and acknowledgment that we are all sick of them. I’ve found this to (often) result in shorter, punchier, and more get-to-the-point conversations. I would…

Marcus J. Fila, Ph.D.

Work Stress speaker, researcher, author, and consultant to organizations and individuals. Psychologist, and management professor. Visit