Execs not happy when workers turn off cameras, mics in Zoom calls

But leaders also say they could do better in engaging remote employees

Execs not happy when workers turn off cameras, mics in Zoom calls

Employers are putting a premium on engagement in the remote setup – so workers should turn on their cameras.

That’s according to a survey that finds 92 per cent business executives in the U.S. think workers who are frequently on mute or don't turn on their camera during virtual meetings probably don't have a long-term future at their company.

Employers also have certain judgments about these workers’ performance: 93 per cent say they are generally less engaged in their work overall, and about two in five believe that workers who are on mute or off-camera entirely are browsing the internet or social media (43 per cent), or texting or chatting (40 per cent).

Employees are feeling more detached from their organizations amid the pandemic, according to a report released in September 2021.

And business leaders’ level of trust in their workers is dropping. Executives estimate they fully trust an average of 61 per cent of their staff to be able to work remotely, down from 66 per cent in 2021, according to Vyopta. Those that say they trust 75 per cent-100 per cent of their staff to work remotely dropped more dramatically, from 46 per cent in 2021 to just 30 per cent in 2022.

Leaders responsible

However, many executives admit their company is not doing a good job of facilitating engagement, found Vyopta’s survey of 200 U.S. executives in March.

In fact, nearly half of U.S. executives (46 per cent) say they are not providing the tools to allow their workers to be as engaged as their in-person counterparts.

Nearly half (49 per cent) believe that C-level executives bear the greatest responsibility for increasing employee engagement, followed by HR (28 per cent) and division leaders (10 per cent).

Also, nearly all executives (99 per cent) acknowledge there is room for improvement when it comes to employee engagement, with nearly half (47 per cent) saying there is "a lot" of room. And 93 per cent agree the frustration of working remotely is causing some employees to be less engaged on virtual calls.

There seems to be a disconnect between workers' and leaders' perception of senior leadership in the hybrid model, according to another survey. While 80 per cent of leaders say they are satisfied with senior leadership, only 43 per cent of non-managers are satisfied.

Too many meetings

All companies (100 per cent) have taken steps to encourage greater collaboration between primarily remote employees and their in-person counterparts since the start of the pandemic, according to Vyopta.

Most (54 per cent) say their company established channels on messaging apps such as Slack or Teams to encourage further collaboration between colleagues, while half required more participation on virtual calls/meetings (50 per cent) and instituted formal training on remote collaboration (50 per cent).

But the increase in virtual meetings may be taking its toll. Nearly half of business executives (48 per cent) cite too many meetings as a reason why employees do not talk during virtual meetings, saying they had too many calls that could've been an email. And 47 per cent say not speaking up is a habit that has developed among their junior staff.

Nearly a quarter of American remote workers (23 per cent) say their Zoom fatigue is higher than it’s ever been, according to a report released in February.

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