‘Understanding how permanent policies regarding remote work may impact employee morale, mental health and productivity is critical’
Nearly half of professionals working remotely (49 per cent) say that being on camera during meetings makes them more exhausted, according to a report from Virita, a remote team performance company.
Sixty-one per cent of respondents say that all their meetings are done by video.
“In my conversations with business leaders throughout the pandemic, the majority said engaging with employees on webcams has increased engagement and productivity. Unfortunately, our study indicates the opposite,” says Cynthia Watson, Virtira CEO.
Meanwhile, a quarter (26 per cent) are neutral on the matter and another 25 per cent say being on camera does not make them more exhausted.
Canadian HR Reporter recently spoke with an expert for tips on combatting Zoom fatigue.
Young workers least happy
Being on camera is exhausting for 58 per cent of introverts, but many extroverts (40 per cent) and those with balanced or adapted personalities (37 per cent) have the same experience.
Meanwhile, younger workers appear to be most affected: 64 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds share the same experience compared to 25- to 34-year-olds (57 per cent), 35- to 44-year-olds (50 per cent), 45- to 54-year-olds (43 per cent), 55- to 64-year-olds (40 per cent) and those aged 65 or older (21 per cent).
Thirty per cent of respondents say they are on webcam two to three hours each day while 26 per cent are on it an hour a day. A quarter (25 per cent) are on camera less than one hour a day.
But some are logging four to five hours a day (11 per cent), five to seven hours a day (five per cent) and eight hours or more in a day (two per cent).
Thirty-two per cent say being on camera during meetings is distracting and 66 per cent say it makes it hard to multi-task.
“Up to 80 per cent of businesses are reporting they will move towards fully remote or a hybrid/flex model,” says Watson. “Understanding how permanent policies regarding remote work may impact employee morale, mental health and productivity is critical information for them to have.”
Why use video?
Nearly three in 10 (28 per cent) say that they use camera during meetings because the meeting leader says so. Meanwhile, 26 per cent feel they have to because the group is on camera. Twenty-three per cent say it’s company policy while 10 per cent say it’s departmental policy.
Just eight per cent use video on calls for team engagement, found the survey of more than 1,700 executives, managers and Jan. 1 and Feb. 8, 2021.
But it’s not all bad, as 60 per cent say being on camera makes them feel more engaged with the team and 65 per cent say being on camera during meetings helps them connect to the team. More than four in 10 (43 per cent) also say being on camera during meetings makes them more productive and 35 per cent say it makes them less lonely.
However, video calls can also get people into trouble, as seen recently when a legal analyst was caught masturbating during a work call.