Andy: You’re all doing such a good job. Really. You’re doing great.

Emma: You’re worried. You’re not sure what to say — to the people you manage, to your anxious friends and family, to yourself. You don’t have the right information. The information keeps changing. You don’t want to make anything worse.

Andy: But you’re trying, and you’re doing so well.

Emma: For some of us, this is the middle of Week 2 — for others, we’re in Week 4 or more. You are doing things that defy your job description in awesomely absurd ways. You are doing great.

Andy: Please remember: now is not the time for perfection. You have our permission to totally and completely ignore every How To Run The Perfect Online Meeting article that is being published.

Emma: You are allowed to have technical difficulties and messy backgrounds and long pauses where no one is talking. You’re allowed to sweat a lot and to feel very tired. You’re allowed not to know how it works or how to make it any better. You’re allowed not to do your Best Work. Whatever you’re doing right now is enough. You’re doing just fine.

Andy: You might even want to do a worse job than you are right now. I loved this post from Rebecca Barrett-Fox for teachers who’re taking their classes online right now: Please do a bad job of putting your courses online. Be brave enough to be terrible at this.

Emma: We both spend a lot of time on video calls. They are little portals of embarrassment. In our experience, the only way to lessen the awkwardness of remote meetings is to do them often, but also to acknowledge that they are truly weird and deeply embarrassing so no one feels like they are alone. There is a reason this video endures.

Andy: We all like to pretend that office life takes place in an inoculated bubble untouched by “real life.” But it’s not true, and even more not true working from home during a pandemic.

Emma: In lieu of stickers this week, we’ve created Video Conference BINGO. Please share it with your teams. Winners get to turn their cameras off for the rest of the call.

Video Conference BINGO

The Bent Video Conference Bingo board