Cameras On or Off? Professionals Weigh in On Video Usage During Virtual Meetings in Korn Ferry Survey

Los Angeles, Oct. 24, 2023 – With virtual meetings now the norm, a new Korn Ferry survey reveals professionals’ perception of their own – and colleagues’ – use of video conferencing during meetings.

More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) say their camera is on more now during meetings than at the start of the pandemic, and 98% say video conferencing is here to stay, with 87% saying they want it to stay.

Respondents say the lack of camera usage has an impact on careers, as more than three-quarters (76%) say they believe those who leave cameras off are looked upon negatively, and 60% say choosing not to be on camera during meetings is a “career minimizing move.”

The top reason to keep cameras on, according to the survey, is to increase engagement (60%). Three-quarters (75%) say more can be accomplished during meetings when cameras are on.

“While nothing can replace face-to-face meetings, being able to see clients and colleagues during video meetings is the next best way to interact with one another, brainstorm, and work toward common goals,” said Korn Ferry Senior Partner and engagement specialist Mark Royal.

While about half of respondents (51%) say they always turn their cameras on during meetings, 43% say they have their cameras on only some of the time. The top reason they sometimes choose to participate solely via audio is that cameras are not always needed/other participants choose to not turn cameras on (44%).

While the survey showed that video conferencing can be beneficial, the majority of respondents (65%) do not believe employers should mandate camera usage during meetings.

“Keeping our faces continuously framed in small squares on screen can be taxing, especially in a day packed with meetings,” Royal notes.  “As professionals are adapting to increased use of cameras, many argue that turning them off occasionally should not be seen as a sign of tuning out.”

About the survey: The Korn Ferry survey of 652 professionals took place in late September/early October 2023.

Survey Responses

During virtual meetings how often do you turn your camera on?

All of the time                                                                                                  51%

Some of the time                                                                                            43%

Never                                                                                                               6%


If you don’t turn your camera on during virtual meetings, what’s the top reason?

Not always needed/other participants don’t have their cameras on              44%

Too many virtual meetings can be fatiguing                                                   10%

Every meeting does not need to take place over camera                             31%

I don’t want to get dressed up                                                                        15%


Do you turn your camera on during meetings more or less now than during the start of the pandemic?

My camera is on more now                                                                            69%

My camera is on less now                                                                              31%


Do you believe your colleagues are looked upon negatively when they leave their cameras off?

Yes to a great extent                                                                                       20%

Yes to some extent                                                                                         56%

No                                                                                                                   24%


Do you feel leaving the camera off for teams calls can be a career minimizing move?

Yes                                                                                                                  60%

No                                                                                                                   40%


What’s the top benefit of having cameras on during virtual meetings?

Greater camaraderie with colleagues                                                            32%

It’s easier to brainstorm                                                                                     2%

It keeps people engaged                                                                                60%

It keeps people top of mind with colleagues and bosses                              6%


Can more be accomplished during virtual meetings when cameras are on or off?

When cameras are on                                                                                    75%

When cameras are off                                                                        35%


Should companies mandate that employees turn on their cameras during virtual meetings?

Yes, companies should mandate cameras should always be turned on       7%

Yes, except when a person has a special circumstance

(e.g. children in the background, not feeling well)                                         29%

No                                                                                                                   65%


Do you think video conferencing is here to stay?                                               

Yes                                                                                                                  98%

No                                                                                                                   2%


Do you want video conferencing to be here to stay?

Yes                                                                                                                  87%

No                                                                                                                   11%    


About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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Dan Gugler