In these hard times, we are using Zoom and other online video software more than ever. The switch from in-person work to work at home can be challenging at best. However, through True Kids 1, Jason Pfeifer and a team of three young actors are helping to change that. Their Zoom Etiquette video below outlines what NOT to do in zoom video calls in a fun and engaging way that relates to kids and adults alike.
When asked about the importance of being ‘Zoom professional,’ Pfiefer says that, “Knowing the platform and technology you are using is important. It is like trying to drive a car without knowing how it works. Platforms like Zoom are designed to be user friendly, but you still need to have a working knowledge of it in order to use it effectively.” The complications that arise from not using these tools to their fullest potential, as well as your own, becomes a distraction that takes away from the matter at hand. Similarly to the story, most young people have hopefully been made aware of the fact that Zoom is forever. The internet and everything it hosts is recorded and the data stored, without any indication of how or where it will follow you in the future. “Most people on Zoom are at their home, so it is a good idea to think about how you want to be seen in your personal space,” Pfiefer reminds us, “that this is the reason it is a good idea to have a designated work space, even at home. Keep it consistent so you are familiar and comfortable as well as those you may work and communicate with on a regular basis.”
For many people, working from home, especially over video, is completely new. And with new things as always, come embarrassing mistakes. All over the internet, there are stories of people who have committed some of these faux pas. These include taking their device to the bathroom and forgetting to turn their mic off, or forgetting to turn off their camera while they changed. While they may seem funny, mistakes like this can be extremely distracting in the workplace. For their Zoom Etiquette video however, Jason decided to go with some tamer, but still equally distracting mistakes – like chewing gum, being late, or laying in bed. The intention True Kids 1’s Zoom Etiquette video is to help people lead by example.
In a world that already was moving heavily in the direction of a digital work space, we must weigh the benefits and challenges and the best ways to navigate them. According to Pfiefer, “One benefit is freedom and flexibility. For me, I feel more productive when working from home because I can set small work goals throughout the day and focus more on accomplishing those goals and tasks rather than focusing on the clock and when the ‘work day’ is over.” The same can be true for younger generations evolving into this world. “For those with children… benefits include spending more time with your family; and the challenge is spending more time with your family. Simply meaning that there can be more distractions when working from home, which is one of the biggest challenges for people.” Learning to hold yourself responsible for being productive and setting those small goals can be an obstacle, overwhelming, and not without complications, luckily, most of us are learning to face these as a community as well as individuals and see the ways we can improve.
“Rosey and I, in talking about the switch to being virtual and how we can’t go to school, decided together that [we would make] a communication video that was fun and highlighted some of the do’s and don’ts of communicating in this way and on this platform.” Jason Pfeifer works as a Ski Coach for Taos Winter Sports Team (TWST), and also runs the company Improv Medicine, which uses the techniques of improv to communicate across all areas of life. His skills combined with Rosey’s connection to True Kids 1 made it the perfect storm. Whitney, Lauren, and Bernice, who acted in the video, are all members of TWST. When asked about the importance of having kid actors, Whitney responded: “I think it’s just easier for a kid to understand another kid than when an adult is trying to teach.”
It’s important that we all take a step back and think about how we are behaving during these meetings. We must be active listeners and treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated, remembering that other people’s impressions of us, whether online or in person, start with us and how we present ourselves. Jason recommends minimizing distractions and learning the tools you’re using thoroughly. “One person not being fully engaged can have a negative impact on others who are attempting to participate. I hope that the video demonstrates this in a fun and playful way. I also hope that this will help to get a head start on our younger population to help with their awareness and education as this way of communication will become more of the norm in the future.’ In order to stay productive, we need to stay professional and lead by example.”
Remember, we’re all in this together.
True Kids 1 Journalist
Listen to Maple’s full interview with Jason Pfeifer.