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Opinion: Zoom CEO: My advice for teleworkers who are on videoconferencing all day


As someone who has spent many days and nights on Zoom over the past 12 months talking to people all over the world, I can relate. It’s incredibly difficult to suddenly switch from an in-person social work environment to a world where we only see images of faces on a screen. My personal best is 19 Zoom meetings per day. It’s a record that some may be able to break, but I admit it was a struggle to do so.

As with everything in life, moderation is key, and when Zoom was founded 10 years ago, the intention was never to completely replace in-person interactions. After all, the pandemic has shown how fatigue, especially from video meetings, can impact productivity, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. That’s why leaders need to find ways to make meetings more manageable as employees continue to work remotely.

Here are some of my own practices for reducing the strain of high volume video conferencing meetings:

Of course, everyone’s preferences and circumstances are different, so there will never be a single solution when it comes to remote working. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve learned that people experience meetings in different ways. A recent study, for example, found that women experience more fatigue than men. One reason is that women are less likely to take breaks between meetings. New findings like this underscore how important it is for meetings to be customizable and flexible, taking into account the preferences and experiences of all demographic groups.

My colleagues, CFO Kelly Steckelberg and COO Aparna Bawa, encounter and combat fatigue in ways that are different from me and from each other. Kelly enjoys walking around at some of her meetings. Aparna believes in putting wellness at the center of her life and work style and schedules screen breaks and naps when possible. By recognizing that we all have different experiences, we can grow together and create a new working future that is comfortable and fulfilling for everyone.

I expect that, once we can safely return to a physical corporate work environment, people will be able to better calibrate the balance between in-person and remote work based on their needs. preferences. The pandemic has proven that working remotely can offer many benefits as well – a hypothesis many began to test even before the events of the past year – and I believe our experiences with the pandemic will accelerate our forward transition which falls somewhere. between working entirely in person and working remotely. Zoom recently commissioned an economic analysis and survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group, where companies surveyed expect more than a third of employees to work remotely after the pandemic. And a 2020 Boston Consulting Group Covid-19 employee sentiment survey showed that more than 70% of managers surveyed are more open to flexible work models than they were before the pandemic.

I hope that Zoom can help provide the technological basis for this new future. We partner with some of the world’s largest companies to help them rethink their processes and provide them with the tools they need to adapt to a “work from anywhere” model. We’re working on features like virtual receptionists for offices, which would reduce direct contact when workers return to physical locations, and AI-enhanced smart gallery views, which create a gallery view of attendees. in the room so that people joining remotely also feel part of the meeting as in-person attendees, for a more seamless hybrid experience. And we’re also excited about what Zoom can provide in terms of supporting new remote jobs and new use cases across staff – creating new opportunities for everyone.

We all deserve the flexibility to work in the most productive way for our preferences and beliefs. I am committed to making this happen for Zoom employees and our customers, and I encourage every business leader to do the same.

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