Video calls, far from being unanimous | VIVA MÉDIA Skip to main content

A new study from Robert Half, a global recruiting firm, shows that video calls can exhaust workers.

Almost three-quarters of professionals surveyed (72%) in a study conducted by the global recruitment firm Robert Half say they participate in virtual meetings. Respondents reported that they spent about a quarter of their working day (24%) on camera, dealing with business contacts or colleagues.

While technology allows many professionals to keep working from home, many are starting to find the situation more difficult. In fact, workers say they are exhausted from video calls.
Of the 500 workers who responded to the survey, 44% of respondents said they had experienced fatigue from video calls since the beginning of the pandemic. Almost 60% said video calls can be helpful, but not always necessary.

22% indicated that the convenience and novelty of video conferencing has diminished over the past eight months.

15% confirmed that they find virtual meetings ineffective and exhausting, and prefer to communicate by other means, such as email or phone. The most hated things about video calls were the technical issues (33%), as well as too many participants and having people talking at the same time (19%). More women (48%) than men (41%) said they were tired of video conferencing.
“When the pandemic started, many remote workers relied on video calls to stay in touch and collaborate with each other, says David King, Robert Half Senior District President. However, as teams continue to work from home, frequent virtual meetings may turn out to be less efficient and necessary.”

Mr. King adds that video calls often require more energy than other means of communication, such as phone calls or emails. “Since many employees are already managing large workloads, sticking to the necessary number of meetings of this type can help reduce fatigue, and increase employee focus time.”

Three tips to get the most out of video calling

Test the technical elements. Check your computer’s camera and microphone and internet connection. Close unused programs to increase your bandwidth and reduce the temptation to multitask.
Limit the number of participants. In small groups, people tend to be more efficient and more engaged. Make sure that everyone you invite to the meeting can make a valuable contribution and care about the outcome.

Establish expectations up front. Send an agenda and supporting materials in advance to allow participants to prepare. During the discussion, enter any remarks and follow-up actions to communicate during a recap.

Steve Sauvé


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