The Practice of Recording Meetings: Good Custom or Overload?

I’ve been navigating my new 100% remote-work environment for a few months. I’m still figuring out a few things, such as when to be on/off video, or where to position my camera. When I should book a meeting instead of reaching out by chat for a quick call. Or how to make it through a day of back-to-back meetings. At least for the last challenge, I’m implementing new guidelines to shorten meeting durations by 5 (or 10 minutes) to allow for some breathing room in between.

However, one new thing is how easy it is for anybody in the meeting to make a recording. I think before everybody was 100% remote, recording meetings didn’t happen. Or at least it didn’t happen frequently. This might have been because in a face-to-face scenario, it wasn’t as easy to record without special equipment. Also, making a recording would have required someone to gain consent. And all of this could have been more complicated if some attendees were remote and joining in through phone or video calling.

Now, recording the meeting is as easy as clicking a button. Instantly the recording starts. Participants give their implied consent by remaining in the meeting. To be fair, nobody has made a recording without first mentioning, or asking if this would be okay with the attendees. A red signal indicates recording so everyone knows.

Since I’m in the business of Records and Information Management, I always have to wonder, what happens to all these recordings? Where are they stored? And more importantly, is anybody going to watch through a 30-60 minute recording of a video to refresh their memory? Sometimes when I do interviews, I like to record them for referring back, or filling in gaps in my notes. These recordings are done with consent and only maintained for a limited period of time. Also, without any indexing done on a recording, it can be challenging to find a specific section. Videos are difficult to search.

All of this to say, just because something is easy to do, doesn’t make it a good practice. Additionally, just because something has a perceived usefulness, doesn’t make it useful. Without following up, or reviewing our practices, we can’t know if making these ad-hoc videos is beneficial. Something I’m sure I will have to assess in the future as someone assigned to clean-up these things.

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