UCL School of Management

28 June 2021

When do we really need to Zoom?

Woman holding her head in her hands as she suffers Zoom fatigue

Zoom fatigue has affected us all at some point over the past year. As the pandemic struck and organisations switched to remote working, Zoom became one of the primary tools for connecting colleagues. Speaking with Wired Chia-Jung Tsay explains why video calls can be important for visual cues and relationship building for new employees.

Between October 2019 and October 2020, we spent 3.3 trillion minutes – or 6.3 million years – on Zoom calls. That’s up from 97 billion minutes, or 184,000 years in the 12 months previously. And although the platform has been an essential support for the remote working lifestyle, to keep teams connected and engaged, research shows that there are many reasons we have grown tired of video calling, mainly having to be confronted with a constant mirror which experts argue can be exhausting.

As many companies (even Zoom itself) have begun to encourage employees to rethink the need to jump on a quick Zoom and have a video call and consider if an email or phone call would suffice, Chia warns that there are still many benefits to a video call which can’t be overlooked.

She explains that for companies still hiring and training staff entirely remotely, seeing a friendly face and being able to connect it with a name is important. “If two people already know each other well, then there might be less need for having that richness of information…but if it’s a first time meeting, and perhaps there is a complicated issue to discuss, I think there are some aspects that would be more easily conveyed through visuals.”

Read the full article

Last updated Monday, 28 June 2021