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Missed calls, meeting fatigue, and missed business opportunities

Missed calls are not all innocent. Some are intentional, be it to avoid speaking to someone, miss a meeting, or extend an activity or inactivity you want no one to know about

41% of UAE employees pretend their devices were installing updates so they would not attend a meeting For some, the endless parade of video calls has become a bit too much Phone calls account for over 80% of business communication and are still the #1 option for handling issues quickly

Missed calls are not all innocent. Some are intentional, be it to avoid speaking to someone, miss a meeting, or extend an activity or inactivity you want no one to know about. 

In workplaces, this is becoming a habit dictated by the new normal of meeting fatigue and could lead to missed opportunities.   

But even in instances where you are too busy to answer, business can suffer as well. 

UAE employees missing their calls

According to a recent study commissioned by Kaspersky to explore workers’ attitudes and habits toward updates, 41% of UAE employees confirmed that they have pretended their devices were installing updates so they would not have to attend a call or meeting. 

Software updates can disrupt workdays, with more than half (59%) of employees saying they have been late to a call because of updates. 

Frequent meetings are often seen as one of the most unpleasant things in the office routine. The transition to remote work and virtual meetings has not helped the issue, as people experienced fatigue from video calls and felt more tired at the end of the working day. 

Some 36% of respondents admitted that they have installed updates to deliberately waste time at work. 74% of employees did say that to maintain their productivity, updates need to happen outside of work hours.

The full report is available at this link.

Read: More than half of employees in the UAE consider changing jobs in light of the pandemic

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Video call fatigue

For some, the endless parade of video calls has become a bit too much.

HSBC and Citi have introduced so-called “Zoom-free” days, setting aside a day of the week where employees aren’t expected to be on video calls.

As well as Zoom, there’s a range of similar tools that companies use like Slack and Microsoft Teams.  

Jeremy Bailenson, a professor at Stanford University, has been studying the impact that video call overload has had on people, dubbed “Zoom fatigue.”

“Currently the medium is designed to allow various forms of exhaustion and fatigue, socially, emotionally, and physically,” Bailenson told CNBC.

His research examined some of the main causes of this fatigue: excessive eye gaze, seeing yourself reflected back to you for many hours a day, being tethered to one physical location for extended periods of time, and increased difficulty in interpreting non-verbal cues.

When this setting is the only means of meeting with managers, co-workers, and clients, it can take its toll.

In another paper he co-authored, it was shown that the effects of Zoom fatigue are more prevalent in women.

Bosses’ missed calls hurt too

Busy business owners sometimes simply can’t answer the phone.  Fact is, even with convenient communication methods like email and texting, customers still prefer speaking over the phone. According to research, phone calls account for over 80% of business communication and are still the #1 option for handling issues quickly.

You may be struggling to answer the phone because you either do not have enough employees, your employees are already busy with other customer service issues, or calls are coming in after hours. 

Bus as a business owner, the last thing you want to do is lose this interested customer because you didn’t answer the phone. 

It will leave negative perceptions of your business as more of these calls pile up. 

How to solve this? 

Look into outsourcing your phone calls with a call center. 

A 2018 study done by NewVoice Media showed businesses actually lose over $75 billion a year due to customer service issues.