Zoom, Skype, Teams, Google Meet and a host of other online meeting platforms have become the virtual spaces where business is discussed.
The fact that you don’t have to be in a traditional office set up to participate has opened up new avenues for flexible communication which has further upped productivity. So far, it has been great. Sure, we all have benefitted from taking the call literally from anywhere but, are we aware of the rules that govern the framework?
Rules you ask? Are there any? Yes, as surprising as this may sound, there are unwritten rules. Rules that are in place to ensure we engage in a healthy, honest, productive and interactive videocall making sure, participants are comfortable in the beginning, during and, at the end of the call.
While these rules pertain to the general etiquette that dictates participant disposition during the call, let us focus on a more specific activity, recording a meeting.
The ability to record a videocall is a great tool if used correctly. It lets the user create a library of material to go back to, refer to and cross check with. But, with any tool be it tech related or not, the extent to which its use is optimised is a topic of debate in this case as well.
To give this blog context, let us dive into the nitty-gritties of recording a meeting. What are these unwritten rules that you must be aware of, implement and expect others to as well? Let us find out.
Defining the purpose
Not every video call warrants a recording. If you can take simple notes, skip the recording. Consider the recording option as one that you should use only when you have to.
Doing so, administers a certain degree of discipline because when you know you can record something, your focus and attention going into the call may suffer a compromise. So, click record only when you feel doing so will serve a specific purpose.
By far the most important, consent is key to a mutually inclined interaction. If you want to record the meeting, please ask for consent. Wait for it and then go on to record. As courtesy, you should also share a copy of the recording with the participants. While taking consent, it is equally important to clearly indicate your intention for recording the meeting.
Recordings are not ironclad proof
In a court of law if a video call recording were to be submitted as proof, it would be admissible only under certain set conditions which are placed by a legal authority. In other words, the intention to record, the circumstances that lead to the recording and the grounds on which the recording qualifies as evidence fall under intense scrutiny before the recording can even be accepted as proof. Therefore, participants should refrain from intimidating other parties in the call by using this fact against them.
Once a recording has served its purpose, delete it. This attitude will introduce transparency on behalf of the person making the recording from the very beginning. Also, make note of the fact that under the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ clause in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU law which came into practice in 2006, information about an individual’s past cannot be used to stigmatise his or her chance at a better life.
For faster traceability though, it is always good to let the meeting admin know of the subject and names of the attendees of the meeting in question as this information might come handy at a future date.
Overall, recording a meeting cannot be taken as lightly as clicking a button. It is an act that comes with inherent responsibilities and consequences that arise out of the intent to record.
The red blinking light blinks for a reason, consider it as a sign from the universe to take a moment to align your thoughts with intention. A big part of being professional is being responsible for what you do and taking accountability for the actions that your decision produces. It is not about being cautious rather, about being conscious. Life’s not fair, let us be fair.