76% of Employees Get More Distracted on Video Calls vs. In-person Meetings
Showpad’s State of Selling Survey reveals employees turn off their cameras to hide what they’re actually doing and have shorter attention spans since working from home
Showpad, the global leader in sales enablement technology, has released the final round of findings from its State of Selling Survey, which analyzed employees from U.S. organizations and found that one in four employees (76%) say they get more distracted when on video calls vs. in-person meetings. The number climbs to 84% for 18-24 year old employees as well as 25-34 year old employees highlighting that the digital natives, Gen Z and millennial employees, are most easily distracted on video calls.
As remote work continues to be the norm, organizations need to consider how to keep employees engaged in meaningful ways, especially when so many employees opt to keep their cameras off. Often, employees are turning off their cameras to hide something they are doing and 18-24 and 25-34 year olds are the biggest culprits with 84% and 82% respectively keeping their cameras off.
Turning off the Camera Isn’t Just to Hide a Bad Hair Day
According to the State of Selling Survey, 72% of employees turn off their camera while on a video call to hide something they’re doing, including:
- Looking at their phone (65%)
- Having a conversation with someone else (47%)
- Looking at social media (44%)
- Making a drink or food (42%)
- Sleeping or dozing (20%)
- Vaping or smoking (17%)
Employees may also have good reason for turning off their cameras as they’ve had some embarrassing things happen while on a video call. In fact, four percent of the respondents actually did something on a video call which led them to lose their job. Other embarrassing things that have happened on video calls included partners or children shouting something embarrassing/awkward (27%), forgetting to press mute and saying something insulting (24%), and pets jumping up on or walking in front of the screen (20%).
Meeting Etiquette has Worsened
More than three quarters of employees (78%) believe that etiquette in real-life, in-person meetings and in the office has become worse since the onset of the pandemic because people are used to video calls while working from home. As more companies do yet another push to reopen offices and prompt employees to show up, these remote work habits will be even harder to break. This phenomenon is worsened by remote work as employees look at their phones more in meetings (64%), pay less attention during meetings (45%), and don’t present well in how they dress for work from home (44%).
Employees Have Shorter Attention Spans
For in-person meetings, 63% of office workers report having attention spans of 45 minutes or less before they begin to get bored or distracted after that; this compares to 68% for virtual meetings. Interestingly, women have a longer attention span for both in-person (71%) and virtual (75%) meetings compared to in-person (56%) and virtual (62%) meetings for men. As more and more employees are increasingly prioritizing finding hybrid/remote jobs, companies need to consider how to better engage them. In fact, 57% said they would not apply for a job if it did not include hybrid working as part of the package.
With so many distractions at home and in the workplace, employees are finding it difficult to focus. Some of the common reasons employees are distracted include: phone (62%), emails (43%), social media (39%) and browsing websites (25%). Men are more likely to be distracted by social media (43%) and browsing websites (30%) compared to women (35%) and (19%) respectively.
“The survey results are a fascinating look into how today’s modern employee has evolved in a remote work setting which has made the traditional working model antiquated,” said Kelli Koschmann, chief people officer at Showpad. “Every organization wants to create a workplace where employees feel fulfilled and valued so it’s up to leaders to ensure there are meeting practices in place that help employees feel engaged and aligned to help the organization meet its goals.”
“Many of us will have been in a situation where we are presenting or selling to someone and then we suddenly see their camera go off, raising doubts about whether the person on the other side is still listening, or even there,” said Koschmann. “While there is no magic bullet, technology can help. Asynchronous communication, for example, through an engaging medium like video messaging, allows employees to communicate effectively both internally and externally, whenever and wherever works best for them.”
According to the survey, 52% of employees completely trust or generally trust B2B salespeople.
Showpad provides sales teams with a modern sales enablement solution to keep buyers engaged through asynchronous communications. With this buyer-led approach to sales, buyers engage with content at the best time for them. With Showpad Video, Showpad’s video messaging feature, buyers and sellers can walk one another through slides or just answer questions without having to schedule entire meetings. This frictionless interaction leads to fewer distractions and increases the speed of information delivery and comprehension.
About the Survey
The study includes a sample of 1,012 employees across the technology, manufacturing, healthcare, finance and insurance industries that had annual revenues ranging from $2M to $1B. Job titles surveyed included practitioners, managers, directors, and executives across sales, marketing and enablement teams.