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Zoom Fatigue

Posted by Voipfone on March 1, 2021

The psychologists tell us that Zoom fatigue is now a thing. I can’t say I’m surprised. You also know something has become a ‘thing’ when it acquires an acronym and appears increasingly in new meejya. But WFH (working from home) is now in the Cambridge English Dictionary. It would have taken on the usage of an actual word, if it wasn’t fully un-vowelled. (Which is also a new word all of my very own).

But still, it seems, many companies don’t really know what to make of it yet and are still working through it. I’ve been seeing reports like this lately from big tech:

“Fresh reports from the tech giant (Google) suggest it still hasn’t figured out a suitable remote working strategy for its employees”

“Microsoft has told staff that they will have the option of working from home permanently with manager approval.”

“As we enter a new year, we must continue to go forward with agility, creativity and a beginner’s mind – and that includes how we cultivate our culture,” said Brent Hyder, president and chief people officer (Salesforce). “An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead, and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.”

If you ignore the corporate-speak twaddle in that last, you get the general picture; mostly these enormous companies don’t think that when we’re all safe from this damn bug, that we’re going back to the old ways of working.

But I’m not so sure. And there a few other sceptics

“Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon has rejected remote working as a “new normal” and labelled it an “aberration” instead.”

Another indication is that shares in Zoom dropped by 15% when successful vaccines were announced indicating that the market thought that a substantial number of people may be heading back to old world meetings.

For quite a lot of these big companies their offices are their flagships; projecting power, status and image. I can’t see any of them doing away with them entirely. What’s the point of being a big powerful exec if you can’t get into your power suit everyday and fight for the corner office? Google worry that they will lose the culture that, in Mr Salesforce’s words, they’ve been ‘cultivating’ assiduously for decades with those very ping-pong tables and posh, chef-catered office restaurants.

Who will work in the vast campuses of alternative societies that the likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook have built?

It seems more likely to me that we’ll have a hybrid office-WFH environment. Which most of these companies already had anyway. The balance might shift a little further towards WFH but I can’t see many of them abandoning offices entirely like Voipfone has. 

Full-fat WFH is not for everyone; some really hate it. Many years ago we had a would-be employee wanting to set up in a rented cubicle in an office down the road. We thought that he hadn’t really got the point of what we’re doing. 

The hybrid model may be the worst cost structure possible – you still have the expensive offices but also have to support an army of home workers.

Of course technology can help now; tech is portable, laptops and phones can all work wherever the worker happens to be and we’ve all found that we can meet reasonably effectively with video conferencing <shudder>. Hot-desking was spreading like COVID even pre-COVID. So in theory at least, these companies can have smaller flagships and eventually manage those costs out.

I just hate video conference though…

Using Voipfone for home-working here

https://www.voipfone.co.uk/telephone-systems-for-homeworkers.php

Btw, as mention in January, the offers of huge amount of cash continue to flood in – though my bank balance remains unchanged so far. This is my current favourite. Short and to the point, though a tad unconventional. But perhaps that’s where business is done in the Ukraine.

Good day,

I have a lucrative offer to discos with you.

Thanks,
Peter.