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The Downsides of the Modern Work Environment

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COVID presented one of the largest modern shifts in the work environment ever seen. Suddenly thousands of businesses had to move to work completely or partially online, and the percentage of people working virtually exploded. This has completely changed how work is perceived and operates, especially when it comes to meetings.

There are lots of ups and downs to these changes, but many workers are feeling the negatives harshly. Remote meetings are a prime example of an aspect of virtual work that doesn’t seem to be very effective currently. 77% of remote workers use video conferencing software, and 83% of employees spend up to a third of their work week in video meetings.

This would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that 71% of these employees waste time at least once a week due to unnecessary or canceled meetings. Workers are entering more meetings more often, and most workers aren’t happy about that fact.

For example, 56% of employees want to spend less time on video calls and 42% go as far to say that they contribute nothing during these meetings. It’s predicted that an average of 31 hours are spent on unproductive meetings per month, even just waiting for a meeting to start alone is a big time waster.

Even in 2022, 23% of virtual workers say Zoom fatigue is at an all time high. It’s a combination of staring at a screen along with being on camera for long periods of time that really start to create digital fatigue in people, something that doesn’t exist in normal meetings.

Some of the psychological effects behind digital fatigue are the mirror effect, lack of personal space, and reduced mobility. The mirror effect is basically the phenomenon where seeing yourself constantly increases anxiety around how one operates and potential minor mistakes. Lack of personal space comes from the close ups that all computer cameras offer, and reduced mobility is an obvious effect of sitting at a computer all day.

Still, regardless of this all, 78% of remote workers want to continue to work from home for the rest of their life. It’s a fairly universally appealing idea even with all the problems it offers. In response, companies like RedRex are creating virtual location-based meetings and workplaces for remote workers to utilize.

These would be digital buildings attached to a physical address with multiple customizable floors. Specific workers could have their own rooms in a system like this, something that could really work to reduce the fatigue that remote workers feel. Systems like these would also offer a comprehensive space to do multiple types of work without constantly changing platforms.

Although a digital workspace like this may not be perfect, it’s a part of the systematic move towards making remote workers feel more comfortable. 49% of remote employees miss seeing their coworkers, and 44% miss the personal interactions that are more typical of a physical workspace. This is just yet another issue to work towards a solution with.

Virtual workers are here to stay, but as the years of doing virtual work continue to grow and grow, digital fatigue and loneliness will only do the same. Active effort has to be put into working to solve these problems as society moves towards being a more and more digital place. Learn more about how the future of work and events can be more effective in the infographic below:

Allan Strauss has a proven track record of editing and formatting content for newspapers, magazines or any other publishing endeavor. His experience includes everything from layout design to public speaking on stages around the world.

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