Video meetings have become widespread, a consequence of the advent of teleworking. But employees don’t always know how to behave during these virtual interviews, especially when they are coming to an end. Some opt for a “goodbye” wave, which may seem surprising in a professional setting.
This phenomenon is so widespread that it has a name in the English-speaking world: the “Zoom wave”, in reference to the online video platform, emblematic of teleworking. Specialists believe that this “goodbye” of the hand was born from our desire to create social bonds, in a context where the restrictions linked to the pandemic prevented this.
“Waving goodbye”, a cheesy gesture?
One would have thought that the “Zoom wave” would disappear when health measures were lifted and millions of employees returned to the office, but that was not the case. More than one in two professionals say they make this hand gesture before disconnecting from a videoconference, according to a Fishbowl survey cited by Bloomberg magazine. However, it is interesting to note that their number has tended to decrease over the last two years. In 2021, 75% of the 1,700 workers surveyed by the company Zoom said they waved to their colleagues to indicate their intention to leave a remote meeting.
But it’s a safe bet that some employees will continue to wave “goodbye” as long as companies organize video meetings. It must be said that this simple gesture, which young people sometimes find corny, is anchored in our habits. Children love doing it to their loved ones or anyone who crosses their path. And they are not the only ones: passengers on a boat have the habit of waving to their fellow passengers remaining on the farm, and vice versa.
A natural gesture
Because the “hello”https://www.TipsForWomens/“goodbye” of the hand is natural. We often find ourselves making this gesture mechanically, including in a professional context. “Why do I feel like I have to wave goodbye at the end of my Zoom meetings? I’ve never left a meeting room waving“, wondered the British author Clare Mackintosh, on X (former Twitter) in 2020. In publication resonated with many Internet users since it amassed more than 15,000 “Likes” on the social network.
Why do I feel compelled to WAVE at the end of Zoom calls? I have literally never walked out of a meeting room WAVING. pic.twitter.com/fSMS7UQLtt
— Clare Mackintosh (@claremackint0sh) May 21, 2020
Although this hand signal may seem inappropriate during a work meeting, it actually allows you to bring a little human warmth to very impersonal interviews. In the office, it is not uncommon for the participants of the same meeting to come together spontaneously, as soon as it is over, to debrief on its content or continue to discuss in a less formal setting. But the virtual configuration of video conferences does not really allow these moments of friendly discussion.
The exchange of “Zoom wave” creates a link
A meeting on Zoom, Meet or Skype ends in seconds, once everyone has logged out. Waving “goodbye” makes this process less abrupt. “People like to know when something starts and ends. These beginnings and endings are what I call “structuring ritual moments,” and rituals give us a sense of belonging and connection.“, explained Erica Keswin, author of several books on work, to Bloomberg.
Whether we are for or against the “Zoom wave”, decorum dictates that we return this gesture to the person who does it to signify their departure from a meeting. Or at least give him a smile or a nod. Indeed, mimicry exercises a social function. It affects our behavior and, above all, the judgments we make about others.
Several scientific studies have shown that being imitated leads us to evaluate more positively the person who reproduces our attitude. So your colleague who is a fan of waving goodbye will tend to like you more if you wave back. Something to keep in mind during your next remote meeting.