Hours of the workday are being wasted on video calls

Employees have wasted an estimated 56 hours since lockdown in preparing for and getting back into work after video calls.

According to a new report from Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, the average employee in the UK spends 47 minutes mentally and physically preparing themselves for video calls at work.

After the call is over, it takes an average of 18 minutes for people to get back into work and one in 10 people said that it takes at least 30 minutes for them to feel productive again.

A third of Brits said they feel they have spent more time than is necessary on work video calls, and more than half said that some calls could have been dealt with much quicker over the phone or via email.

Use of video call technology has increased since the outbreak of pandemic, with the average worker spending three hours and 12 minutes per week on platforms such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This is a 120% increase on the time spent video calling before lockdown.

Over half (54%) of survey respondents said that they have experienced health problems due to using technology more, with those working from home taking an average of 37 minutes to switch off at the end of the work day.

Royston Bayfield, founder and managing director of Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, is concerned about the impact video calls and remote working is having on overall employee wellbeing.

He said: “Using several tech devices throughout the day is common for most people, and this has proved even more prevalent during recent months during lockdown and remote working.

“But while technology such as video calling apps are great to stay connected with each other, using these for long periods of time can cause eye strain, neck tension and headaches, which can all lead to further physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing problems.”

In April, the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) interim survey found that home working was already having an impact on peoples’ physical health as more than half of respondents reported having new aches and pains since the switch.

In a Westfield Health survey, a majority (74%) of HR professionals expressed their concern at the toll remote working could be having on employees.

Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists’ study into video call fatigue is based on the responses of 2,000 people in the UK.