One in six take video calls while partially clothed


Employees are thinking twice before switching their camera on for a work-related video call, it has emerged, with one in six employees admitting to disabling video functionality because they are partially-clothed or have no clothes on at all.

This is according to a survey of 1,500 UK workers who are working from home for the first time while the coronavirus lockdown is in place.

With the majority of organisations using video conferencing software to conduct meetings, the survey found employees were paying close attention to how they appeared on camera – almost half (46%) admitted to spending more time on their personal appearance, such as hair styling and make up, and 41% chose different clothes in anticipation of video calls.

Employees had also considered their home backdrop with 25% having rearranged or removed items in order to impress colleagues.

Some were neglecting what was behind them, with 18% of respondents stating they had seen something “unprofessional” behind a colleague during a video call.

Johnny Warström, CEO of online meetings platform Mentimeter, which conducted the survey, said: “Within a matter of weeks, video meetings have become a professional mainstay in the lives of millions of people around the world. This is a seismic behavioural shift, and so we wanted to understand the culture and etiquette around Zoom, Skype and other video calls.”

With the increased reliance on tech, 60% said internet or technology issues were the greatest impediment to their productivity while remote working. Forty-three per cent felt their productivity had declined since working from home, with other distractions such as family or housemates and the television having an effect on their capacity to work effectively.

Employees also indicated that they felt ignored in video meetings: 44% said they felt their opinions went unheard or were valued less than had they been raised during face-to-face equivalents.

Warström said: “At this troubling time, we have to look after each other, and that includes making sure everyone’s opinion is heard and giving employees sufficient recognition for their hard work. And if in doubt, just make sure to put some pants on before your calls.”

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