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PRODUCTIVITY

Technical issues and too many participants are biggest virtual meeting pet peeves

Have you had about enough of video meetings? If so, you’re not alone. A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows video calls may be wearing on workers. Almost three-quarters of professionals surveyed (72 per cent) said they participate in virtual meetings. Those respondents reported spending about a quarter of their workday (24 per cent) on camera with business contacts or colleagues. In addition:

  • 44 per cent said they’ve experienced video call fatigue since the start of the pandemic.
  • 59 per cent said video calls can be helpful but are not always necessary.
  • 22 per cent noted that the practicality and novelty of video conferencing has worn off over the past eight months.
  • 15 per cent confirmed they find virtual meetings inefficient and exhausting and prefer to communicate via other channels, like email or phone.
  • The most common video call pet peeves were dealing with technical issues (33 per cent) and too many participants and people talking over each other (19 per cent).
  • More women (48 per cent) than men (41 per cent) said they’re tired of video conferencing.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, many remote workers relied on video calls to stay connected and collaborate with one another,” said David King, Canadian senior district president of Robert Half. “However, as teams continue to work from home, frequent virtual meetings may not be as efficient and necessary.”

King added, “Video calls often require more energy than other communication means such as phone calls or email. With many employees already managing heavy workloads, limiting them to those that are necessary can help reduce meeting fatigue and increase focus time for employees.”

Robert Half offers three tips for helping professionals make the most of video calls:

  1. Test your tech. Check your computer’s camera, microphone and Internet connection. Close any unused programs to increase your bandwidth and reduce the temptation to multitask.
  2. Limit the guest list. Small groups tend to be more effective and engaged. Make sure everyone you invite has something valuable to offer and a stake in the outcome.
  3. Set expectations from the get-go. Send an agenda and supporting materials in advance so participants can prepare. During the discussion, capture notes and action items to share in a recap.

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