Why is it good for companies to stop abusing video calls?



This article was translated from our Spanish edition.

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Due to the health emergency caused by the pandemic, the home office or work at home has become a norm in the last year and a half. Although many employees have already returned to their workplaces, there is still a high percentage who work from home.

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According to figures from the consulting firm KPMG, 63% of companies in Mexico plan to maintain the teleworking scheme after the pandemic. According to this report, 91% of employees will continue to work in this mode at least two days a week once the virus is controlled. In this sense, it is important to rethink the home office and improve conditions, especially in relation to the number of work video calls.

Workers have an ambivalent relationship with remote work. On the one hand, 62% believe that they are more productive working from home. In contrast, 33% point out that one of the disadvantages of this scheme is that they work longer hours than before and outside of normal hours.

Fatigue syndrome and video calls

“The home office, it seems, is here to stay. At the beginning of the pandemic, the transition to this modality of work was hasty due to the pressing conditions. In the post-pandemic context, certain issues must be rethought to improve everyone’s experience. One of the main challenges for companies must be that the mental health of employees is in good condition ”, explains Andrea Rojas, Head of People Operations at Runa, payroll platform and Human Resources management .

According to the study Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue , conducted by Stanford University, video calls can trigger additional stress in workers due to various factors. First, during these virtual meetings the natural rhythm of a conversation is interrupted and the participants are forced to look each other directly in the eye, unlike a face-to-face meeting.

According to this research, the communication effort made by the participants of a video call is higher than that of the person making a phone call. In addition, people who have a call through one of these platforms have to speak louder in their interventions and have to exaggerate non-verbal language to emphasize a point.

In a video call it is more difficult to interpret the gestures and looks of another person. These factors, especially if meetings are held unnecessarily and frequently, can contribute to increased stress for workers.

Video calling shouldn’t become a headache

Video calls, like the home office , are here to stay. This tool has facilitated communication between teams during the health emergency, through applications such as Zoom, Meet or Teams.

Thanks to this technology, companies have been able to continue their operations despite the distance. However, there are some factors to consider. According to Runa , these are three aspects that should be considered when making a video call:

The relevance of the call . Some video calls could be avoided with an email or text message. Before calling the team to a meeting, it should be analyzed if the issue warrants it or if it can be communicated through other platforms. The excess of these types of calls can tire employees and affect their performance.

Space between meetings . Sometimes it is necessary to have several meetings on the same day due to the importance of the topics to be discussed. In these cases, it is recommended that the meeting times be spaced. In this way, collaborators can take a break between sessions.

Straight to the point . Communication from the meeting leader should be as efficient as possible. This does not mean that the tone of the meeting has to be solemn or impersonal. The person in charge of organizing the video call must be very clear about the points they want to make and not dwell on other superfluous topics. The better defined the points to be discussed, the better the video call will be.


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