What British Professionals Really Think About Remote Working

What British Professionals Really Think About Remote Working

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing much of the British  workforce to operate from home, video calls have become an essential part of continuing professional life.

With millions of people relying upon Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts for the first time, Mentimeter (www.mentimeter.com) – a free-to-use interactive presentation tool (currently registering record daily sign-ups) that gives meeting attendees (virtual or in-person) the chance to contribute – commissioned a study of 1,500 housebound British workers, in order to understand their experiences in this new era of virtual meetings and video conferences.

Key findings:

The art of the video call

  • 16% of British workers have avoided switching on their cameras for a video call because they were naked or partially clothed.
  • 25% of workers have customised their home backdrops (through rearranging visible items or choosing a particular location) in order to impress colleagues or clients on video calls.
  • 18% have noticed something that they considered unprofessional in the background of a colleague’s video call.
  • Nearly half of workers (41%) choose different clothes for days in which they have video calls.
  • 46% admit to spending more time on their personal appearance (hair, makeup etc.) in anticipation of video calls.

Frustrations and distractions

  • 60% of workers cite internet or technology issues as the greatest impediment to productivity while remote working. Family members, partners, and housemates (42%) are the second most-cited cause of distraction, and distractions in the home (e.g. TV) is third (23%).
  • ‘Colleagues’ are the thing people most miss about the office – with 42% of British professionals missing their co-workers; 12% not missing their co-workers.

The new working life

  • 43% of British workers find their productivity to be lower when working from home, compared to when they worked in an office. Only 19% consider working remotely to make them more productive.
  • 44% of British workers feel that their opinions and ideas are less heard and valued in remote meetings than during face-to-face equivalents. This experience is slightly more common for men (46%) than for women (42%).

Johnny Warström, CEO and co-founder of Mentimeter, comments: “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 behavioral shift, and so we wanted to understand the culture and etiquette around Zoom, Skype, and other video calls. Mentimeter is a platform which enhances meetings – real or virtual – by giving every participant a voice, but increased inclusivity is clearly just one part of the puzzle to ensure a happy remote workforce. 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.”