Science has an answer for why people continue to welcome and…

Bloomberg – It’s something that usually happens at the end of online meetings: When one person waves goodbye, his or her colleagues follow. Why are we still doing this?nearly four years after the integration of remote work, constitutes one of the mysteries of the modern world of work.

Some experts in human behavior and communication believe that the so-called “Zoom greeting” arose as a result of our need to restore social ties severed by the pandemic. Others simply see it as a way to signal that the meeting is over before leaving the venue digitally. Some people say hello just out of courtesy, others like it. Whatever the reason, it’s as common a remote work ritual as wearing sweatpants with a work shirt (known as the “Zoom mullet”).

“I love to say hello,” he explains. erica Keswin, Author and career strategist. “People like to know when something begins and when it ends. These beginnings and endings form what I call ‘master wellness rituals,’ and rituals give us a sense of belonging and connection.

She’s not the only one. And according to a survey conducted this month by professional network Fishbowl, 55% of workers wave. This percentage is lower than the 57% who announced they did so in 2022 in a survey conducted by Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) and 3 out of 4 who said that in 2021. This gradual decline, as the epidemic subsided and millions of people died returned to their jobs, It’s not a surprise to Susan Wagner Cook He is an associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa and director of the Communication, Cognition, and Learning Laboratory.

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“As people have less need to connect, they are less likely to say hello,” said Cook, who has spent years in the service. Study why and how humans use hand gestures (From friendly wave to hostile middle finger) To communicate and communicate.

However, Cook and other experts don’t expect the greeting to disappear completely. One important reason is the so-called “kinetic resonance”: When someone says hello, the greeting back is almost automatic.. Numerous social psychology studies show that we are more likely to be empathetic and cooperative with people with whom we synchronize our movements, and empathy and teamwork were things that many organizations struggled to instill during the stressful days of Covid lockdowns.

“In a video call, last impressions are as important as first impressions, and saying hello sends a signal that others can feel safe in our presence,” he said. Darren Murpha hybrid business consultant who now handles strategic communications at automaker Ford Motor Co (F).

The dynamics of virtual versus in-person meetings also play a role in greetings, according to Jesper Agard, associate professor of psychology and behavioral sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. After a face to face meetingthere is something called the interstitial period in which people stay and talk while going out together. But the video calls end suddenly, so we all have to say goodbye right away. “This in turn gives an exaggerated, cartoonish quality to the Zoom greeting,” Aagaard said.

It is the awkwardness of the greeting that puts off some people, however By not greeting, workers risk being seen as rude. “It bothers me when I say hello and people don’t greet me back,” he says. Molly Beck, founder and CEO of business communications software manufacturer WorkPerfectly. “I like to compare it to when you open the door for someone and they don’t say thank you.”

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In other words, Cook said, the cultural cost of being perceived as rude “outweighs that momentary feeling of ‘Am I weird?'”

Some workers are conditionally reluctant. Callie Williams Yost , a flexible business strategist, says hello when he reaches out to new contacts, almost like a “nice to meet you” gesture. But if it’s the same group every week, “hardly anyone says hello, including me.” for others, What matters is the type of greeting. “I recommend the fast wave, as if it were another car letting you go first at a busy intersection, not the kind of slow wave if you’re in a convoy,” Beck said. While she waved with one hand, Beck left the call with the other.

“It’s a bit embarrassing, very corny, and serves no purpose other than honest acknowledgment to the other people on the call,” the journalist wrote. Justin Bott In a 2021 blog post about Zoom greetings on the website of Zapier, the maker of fully remote business software. Its employees often post Zoom greetings. “But that’s why it’s great. “No one should feel bad for doing this.”

Not everyone agrees, but employees likely won’t be saying goodbye to Zoom greetings anytime soon.

“Humans are adapting to media, and some of the habits that have evolved to manage the strangeness of video conferencing have persisted,” he said. Jeremy Bailensonfounding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has studied another remote work phenomenon: Enlarge fatigue The fatigue of video conferencing all day long. “Perhaps the greeting will be between us for a while.”

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