Is Zoom a recipe for economic disaster and are video conference calls hindering productivity?

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As Covid-19 sweeps across the planet, businesses are pivoting to virtual meetings at the cost of productivity.

Video-calling gives the illusion of collaboration, but Wundamail research reveals overindulging in pointless chit-chat is costing businesses more than £1000 per employee each month in wasted time.

Leaders must rethink their remote strategy fast, or we are heading for a global productivity dive and total economic ruin.

42% of remote workers surveyed felt they were “more productive” after working for a long period of uninterrupted time as they found having a continuous stream of virtual distractions on various apps deeply distracting.

On video calls, 42% of people frequently dial in and contribute nothing, and 56% wish they spent less time on video-calls. And yet, 73% of respondents counted video-calls as “work-done”, which suggests that video calls give a dangerous illusion of productivity, when in reality very little work is completed or produced.

Wundamail research* reveals that teams benefit from limited virtual meetings and time away from their colleagues in the remote set-up to maintain work productivity.

The most worrying attribute of video-conferencing for teams is the “lack of follow-up” after the virtual meeting – 27% of employees found this to be the biggest communication barrier in their team. People were three times more likely to deliver on actions agreed in writing instead of video, as they failed to remember key information.

Technical issues emerged as the most prevalent problem in video meetings (73%), followed closely by interruptions and people talking over one another (59%). In addition, 1 in 3 people suffered a lack of focus in video meetings.

Virtual meetings transfer (and often amplify) the most inefficient parts of the traditional office to home working, and businesses who fail to find a solution will lose productivity and fall behind.

Businesses need to reduce video-chatting and introduce automatic, written updates and daily check-ins into their remote set-ups to keep productivity levels consistent.

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4 Comments

  1. There may be some truth in this but I would treat it with caution. Wundamail are selling a commercial product, expressly to replace meetings, don’t they have a vested interest in dissing online meetings? Human interaction is more than just words and meetings can save time as long as they are handled properly, with clear agendas, and actions agreed being recorded and circulated.

  2. Just because Wundarmail are selling a commercial product should not mean that their research should be dismissed . Why is it that any organisation which has publicised the results of their research, in their field of operation, always be treated with suspicion? By all means be cautious, but the research might be revealing a worthwhile finding ,so it is sensible to treat it as a paradigm and seriously consider what has been published. At the present time when we cannot meet together in person video conferencing is the next best answer

  3. I wouldn’t say that Zoom is a recipe for disaster, or even that it hinders productivity, but these types of tools have to be used mindfully. Case and point, if a meeting begins to lack focus, it’s important for everyone involved to get back on the same page. Otherwise, any communication done through this platform will be needlessly difficult.

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