For good and bad, COVID has forced us to rethink how we work and interact with one another daily. While virtual fatigue is real as we rely more on services like Slack, Zoom, and Hangouts, there are some positives that I’d like to share.

Over the past few months at LexBlog, we’ve started conducting our design discovery meetings using video. As a result, it has created an opportunity to deepen our relationship building. Here’s a recent email I sent out to all at LexBlog after finishing a call with a client.

One of the best things we’ve done over the past few months is meeting with our clients over Zoom or Hangouts with video turned on. We are humanizing ourselves and, in turn, building real relationships. I get a boost when I can see and speak to those we serve.

Here’s how I see that occurring.
  1. It’s humanizing to see that we all work in similar locations. Each home office is different, and it’s fun to observe the decor encompassing these video conversations. From bedrooms, kitchens, and garages, I’ve seen it all. It’s great.
  2. We are more casually dressed, and as a result, we are in a more relaxed state of mind. The way you dress does matter, and I’m not a fan of working in my PJs or advocating a slovenly look. But it is fun to see an attorney wearing a NY Yankees hat. It opens a more personal gateway of conversation and allows me the opportunity to lament all things Cincinnati sports.
  3. It allows for some portion of our personal lives to intrude into our work lives. Que my daughter in a dragon costume, my wife walking in to bring me some coffee, not to mention: pets, weird noises, and after the video started, you notice the crumpled pillows and disheveled couch cushions in the background.
  4. Finally, it gives equal ground to relate, as we are all struggling in some way. One of the best things about suffering is it enables you to understand someone else and meet them where they are. It provides a starting point based on common ground, empathy, and care.

This type of personal interaction reminds me of one of my favorite points from The Cluetrain Manifesto.

Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

I want to offer that we enhance and enable that human sound when we add in the element of sight. So turn that video ON.

Photo of Brian Biddle Brian Biddle

For the past 15 years, Brian has served as lead designer and art director for LexBlog. He works directly with the product team to provide design and UX/UI guidance for the tools that power the world’s largest legal network.