If only we’d all bought shares in Zoom at the beginning of the year, think how much richer we’d be.
This time last year, nobody had really heard of Zoom – 12 months on and it’s become a verb.
‘Are we Zooming tonight?’ became the catchphrase of the first lockdown as we embarked on endless Zoom quizzes and wondered why we couldn’t stop staring at ourselves on the screen.
From being on it at work all day to using it to socialise in the evenings, it’s safe to say we’ve all become a little exhausted by video calls. And new research has found that ‘Zoom fatigue’ is actually a real thing.
According to a new study by London South Bank University (LSBU), remote working during the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown saw employees suffer from ‘Zoom fatigue.’
The study looked at the falls in energy experienced by employees who were working remotely and their increased need for daily recovery time.
Findings show that remote working generally leads to increased tiredness or ‘Zoom fatigue’ for employees and a greater need for longer recovery time compared with when they’re in the office.
They also show that communicating through video calls is more tiring to deal with than other forms of digital communication, like emails or texts. This is because video calls require higher levels of self-control and regulation of emotion.
Likewise, daily fluctuations in different forms of remote communication (such as video calls, emails, Slack) between employees is detrimental to the overall well-being of the workforce.
The key authors of the study said that, based on these findings, employers should be more aware of employees’ need for recovery time, due to the demands of remote working, and that they should insist staff don’t work beyond core hours and take regular breaks.
Karin Moser, professor of organisational behaviour at LSBU’s Business School, said: ‘Whereas previous research looking at remote working practices in the UK focused on employee productivity, this study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that these practices pose a threat to employee wellbeing.
‘The danger is that many work routines are now dictated by what technology packages are available, giving the user little time for reflection on whether what’s been provided is adequate.
‘Meanwhile employees are also lacking the necessary skills training to help them collaborate and lead virtually. This business practice is not sustainable, and in the long-term, will have detrimental impacts on employee health and productivity.’
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