Nearly Half of Professionals Experience Zoom Fatigue and Burnout from Online Meetings

Survey Reveals Fatigue and Pressure Over Being on Camera

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Canada, (April 15, 2021) – Virtira Consulting, a forward-thinking company focused on increasing remote productivity for companies, has released the results of its workplace study – “Webcam Survey: Exhausted or Engaged?” The extensive study reveals the impact on employees as they navigate excessive time in front of webcams in an effort to continue business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the revelations is that nearly half of professionals working remotely (49%), which translates to 32 million individuals, reported a high degree of exhaustion as a direct result of numerous daily Zoom meetings. Referred to as “Zoom fatigue”, the exhaustion stems from a combination of increased meetings and the pressure to have webcams on for each of them.

“Our research demonstrates how remote work has impacted the way managers are meeting with their teams,” said Virtira CEO Cynthia Watson. “In my conversations with business leaders throughout the pandemic, the majority said engaging with employees on webcams has increased engagement and productivity. Unfortunately, our study indicates the opposite.”

The study found that 63% of remote workers are participating in more meetings online than they would have in the office, with 30% spending 2-3 hours daily on Zoom. The increased time in front of webcams has been compounded by well-meaning employers attempting to raise morale by hosting online happy hours, pizza parties, and more – thereby adding to their Zoom time.

Key findings reveal:

  • 61% of respondents indicated that all meetings they attend are conducted on video
  • 65% indicated that being on video is best for team engagement, but only 11% of their video meetings are being used for that purpose
  • More than 25% feel peer pressure to have their cameras on, even if not required
  • 58% of self-identified introverts and 40% of extroverts reported on-camera exhaustion

The survey includes insights from 1,700+ managers and employees, specifically addressing company policies regarding the use of video during online meetings and the impact on employee well-being. The report comes at a critical time, as employers make decisions regarding permanent remote work, offering data rather than opinion to help steer them.

“Up to 80% of businesses are reporting they will move towards fully remote or a hybrid/flex model,” said Watson. “Understanding how permanent policies regarding remote work may impact employee morale, mental health and productivity is critical information for them to have.”

For additional results, visit the survey page here, and for the full analysis, download the complete report here.