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64% of younger employees suffer from anxiety because of excessive Zoom meetings
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64% of younger employees suffer from anxiety because of excessive Zoom meetings 

A recent study showed results on the escalating degree of anxiety and self-consciousness which is currently being experienced by the younger work force due to the Zoom-focused work culture. The participants of the research reported mental and emotional effects as they spend more of their time in front of webcams while the pandemic is on-going.

Furthermore, it showed that there is a significant correlation between younger employees and the impact of meeting on a video call. Sixty four per cent of the 18 to 24 age group talked about the following factors:

  • embarrassment over what can be seen in their backgrounds.
  • self-consciousness over physical appearance on camera.
  • feelings of peer pressure to have cameras on.
  • the fear of embarrassing disruptions by family members or pets at home.
  • being constantly distracted by other meeting expressions or movements during the meeting.

Some of the other findings talk about 63 per cent of the respondents saying that the number of meetings in a week has greatly increased since the onset of the pandemic and 61 per cent of the respondents said that these meetings are conducted with a video conferencing tool.

“Employers need to shift their policies and have candid conversations with their teams about how many meetings they are having and how they feel about meeting on video”, said Virtira CEO Cynthia Watson. “Especially as we move towards hybrid work models, virtual meetings with others aren’t going away – so employers have an opportunity to implement policies to improve well-being.”

Here are some of the study’s recommendations:

  • Video is best used to connect employees in small groups, one-on-one meetings, or for the first 2-3 minutes of larger meetings for everyone to say hello. Even in this context, many people are still uncomfortable with being on video, and managers and HR should work with them to determine root cause and adjust their work situation where possible.
  • There is no indication that large meetings with a screen of talking heads have any productivity advantages, and may actually increase distraction and participant anxiety.
  • Being on camera should be up to the employee. Training and communications need to be introduced to make staying off-camera a personal choice when possible.
  • Even with policies, recognize that peer pressure is a key driver of camera use, especially in younger workers, even where it is not required by management or the organization.
  • Meetings are not a substitute for informal office chats or a “water cooler”. Businesses need to introduce and train managers and employees on the use of collaboration workspaces where informal updates can occur 24/7, synchronously, and asynchronously.
  • Packing extra people into a call when they don’t need to be sucks time and productivity. Invest in good meeting notes with a meeting recording so they can quickly update themselves on what they need to know and have more uninterrupted work time.

Read the full study here: https://virtira.com.

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