Reviving Critical “Face Time”

For some, the 100% remote work model has represented a decrease in office politics and elimination of nonsubstantive “face time” (the requirement that one “be there” regardless of productivity). For others, there is increased “face time” pressure since Zoom, Webex, FaceTime (the app), and video call etiquette almost require that we make a personal appearance, no matter our situation at the moment. Some employers have instituted monitoring software to ensure that employees are logged on during certain hours. While a leader certainly can require someone keep their camera on and while it is probably legal to monitor activity on company provided laptops (check with your employment attorney), just because one can, does not mean one should. It is great for people to occasionally get together and see each other in regular meetings, but being “on” 8 hours a day is less staying connected and more reality TV. Your employees right now are not experiencing a normal work environment and simply reviving criticized “face time” as opposed to focusing on productivity, keeping people engaged or helping them adjust to simply get through the week, is a mistake.