Story at a glance

  • Nearly a quarter of high-level executives say they’ve had to fire employees over mistakes made during video or audio conference calls.
  • More than 80 percent dished out some kind of disciplinary action due to slip-ups made in virtual meetings.
  • A poll found executives did not fully trust one-third of their employees to make remote work successful.

A new survey is shedding light on the pitfalls of working from home as the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down offices across the country for more than a year.

Nearly a quarter of high-level executives say they’ve had to fire employees over mistakes made during video or audio conference calls, and 83 percent dished out some kind of disciplinary action due to slip-ups made in virtual meetings, according to a survey of 200 executives commissioned by Vyopta. 

Vyopta helps companies manage their workplace communications systems.   

The survey found 40 percent of executives informally reprimanded employees over virtual gaffes and 38 percent formally disciplined workers. Fifty-three percent moved responsibility of managing virtual meetings or calls from one employee to another over mistakes. 

Employers also appear to be fairly skeptical about whether a fair share of their employees can successfully telework. The poll found executives did not fully trust one-third of their employees to make remote work successful. 


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Zoom blunders include having to reschedule meetings due to technical issues, missed deadlines, joining calls late, sharing sensitive information, among others. 

“The data clearly shows that there is a misalignment in expectations regarding remote and hybrid work between management and employees and a lack of training on how to manage and perform in this new way of working,” Vyopta CEO Alfredo Ramirez said

While the punishments can seem harsh, virtual mistakes can be costly to companies. The survey found 32 percent of executives lost a client or business opportunity due to tech issues, and 41 percent have missed a project deadline. 

But still, 97 percent of those surveyed said they are currently offering or planning to offer hybrid work models, suggesting the new mode of working isn’t going anywhere.


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Published on Sep 02, 2021