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Revealed: Brits share their biggest video call pet peeves

  • Losing internet connection is the biggest annoyance for UK workers
  • Almost a quarter of Brits surveyed hate people being late to their calls
  • Expert shares tips for top video calling etiquette

As millions of home workers feel the effects of video call fatigue, slow internet connections have been named the biggest video call frustration by UK workers, according to new research.

The study, conducted by online smartphone retailer Mobiles.co.uk1, surveyed UK adults to find their biggest screen time bugbear and nearly a third (30%) cited losing internet connection as the most annoying.

Interestingly, the theme of connectivity issues continues to be a gripe for screen time encounters, with 28% of people surveyed finding being on a call with someone else with a poor connection annoying, whilst a quarter of Brits (25%) admit their biggest frustration is people interrupting the speaker.

Video calls are now a key component of everyday life and a crucial aspect of our working day. However, things like losing connection mid-call or people interrupting the speaker can cause real annoyance.

The ten most annoying traits in video calls are:

  1. Losing internet connection
  2. People with poor internet connections
  3. People interrupting the speaker
  4. People joining late
  5. Participants eating on calls whilst not muted
  6. Having to remind people they’re on mute
  7. People not putting their camera on
  8. Someone looking away from the screen
  9. Heavy breathing
  10. Someone loudly typing on the keyboard

Being late is frowned upon in many walks of life, but men are seemingly less forgiving than women when it comes to tardiness on calls. More than a quarter (27%) of men, compared to just a fifth (20%) of women, highlighted lateness as a significant issue.

The younger generation are far less patient when it comes to certain etiquette on calls, nearly three times as many 18–24-year-olds resent people waving goodbye at the end of a call (17%) compared to just 6% of those over  65s.

This is amplified further with hearing people typing on keyboards loudly whilst on a call, with over four times as many young adults (23%) finding frustration in this compared to those aged over 65 (5%).

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When it comes to using video calls for work, perhaps unsurprisingly, the recruitment and HR sector is the least forgiving with colleagues turning up late to virtual meetings, with 57% citing this as a pet peeve – more than 20% higher than any other industry. This sector also ranks highest when it comes to frustrations around having to deal with poor internet connection, with just under half (48%) flagging this as a significant issue.

With remote working set to continue permanently in many industries, it is important to be able to maintain a good etiquette whilst in video calls and the experts at Mobiles.co.uk have looked at some tips to help avoid these issues.

Unstable internet connection

There are steps you can take to ensure a more stable and consistent connection prior to joining a call:

  • Find a place to work in the house where your Wi-Fi connection is the strongest, is it possible to work close to the router?
  • Establish a wired connection to the router, if possible, which is more stable and usually results in faster internet too.
  • Pause any downloading or uploading files which could take up precious bandwidth.
  • Close all your other non-essential applications to ensure that your laptop or computer has the processing power to run your call smoothly.
  • Disable HD video using the settings within the app to reduce the chances of any lag or crashes.

Interrupting people on calls

There are some easy measures you can adopt whilst on video calls to make sure you don’t end up talking over colleagues or disrupting the meeting with background noise:

  • Take notes – If you are writing information down whilst others are speaking it’ll keep you occupied whilst ensuring you won’t feel the need to talk whilst someone else is.
  • Use in-call features to help – Most video call platforms have a “raise hand” feature, which shows the speaker you have something to say and allows them to bring you into the conversation naturally without interruption.
  • Pretend you’re an interviewer – If you adopt the mindset that you’re interviewing someone, you’re far more likely to listen to them and really absorb what they are saying before speaking.

Andrew Cartledge, mobile expert at Mobiles.co.uk, comments: “With many of us spending a lot of time working from home, we’ve had to get used to a whole new way of interacting with people. Of course, there are some things that inevitably lead to gripes towards certain behaviours, so it’s really interesting to see which issues tick people off the most.

“Although society is starting to open up again, many people will be at least working remotely in some capacity for a long time to come. Hopefully these findings and tips will ensure that people can maximise their use of video calls whilst avoiding any traits that may cause frustration to others.”

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