Banks ban Zoom on Fridays to combat fatigue

Leading UK and US banks HSBC and Citigroup have announced that they are implementing ‘Zoom-free’ Fridays to combat the stress and fatigue of working from home.

The programme is being rolled out as a trial alongside other employee well-being schemes implemented by other companies, applying the scheme to the bank’s commercial banking unit.

HSBC’s focus on shifting away from Zoom one day a week coincides with the bank’s plans to shake up its working patterns post-pandemic, with plans to slash its office space by 40%.

Zoom fatigue, stress or a feeling of unwellness brought about by frequent use of Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms, has been found to have a disproportionate impact on women, according to a Stanford study. A separate study found that close-up eye contact, viewing your own face, the lack of movement in a limited field of view and cognitive overload to be the primary driving causes of Zoom fatigue. 

Speaking to CBS News, Jane Fraser, chief executive, Citigroup, said in a memo: "The blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our wellbeing. It’s simply not sustainable.

"After listening to colleagues around the world, it became apparent we need to combat the 'Zoom fatigue' that many of us feel.”

Photo credit: Girts Ragelis, Shutterstock

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