Editorial Team

Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced that its business Godrej Interio, India’s leading furniture brand in home and institutional segments has published the findings of an exclusive study ‘The Real World Repercussions of Virtual Fatigue’. To understand the challenges that employees face as they continue to work virtually, the Workspace & Ergonomics Research Cell at Godrej Interio conducted a nation-wide study to understand the challenges and suggest appropriate solutions detailed in the Whitepaper. A total of 235 office-going employees participated in the research, of which 68% belonged to the age group of 26–40-year-olds, most of them, working for MNCs and Indian corporates.

According to the whitepaper, virtual fatigue can be defined as the exhaustion felt on taking extended virtual calls. Visual fatigue, listener’s fatigue physical fatigue and mental fatigue have been identified as the factors contributing to virtual fatigue. Virtual fatigue has become a moniker for the health concerns arising out of unregulated participation in virtual meetings. Sitting in a spot for prolonged periods to attend long meetings can result in body pain and similar problems – a product of Virtual Fatigue. Ergonomic stressors like static postures and stances like leaning forward during virtual calls can cause one to feel physical fatigue.

Sameer Joshi, Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio said “With the second wave of Covid-19 and the possible third being anticipated, it is fairly certain that virtual conferencing will be the preferred manner to conduct business engagements for the foreseeable future. In this scenario, organisations across the country need to be aware of the related occupational distress that employees are facing to find solutions which ensure the wellbeing of their workforce. Godrej Interio, through its Workplace & Ergonomics Research Cell endeavours to study issues that are of importance to our audiences and provide solutions through our whitepapers. We hope that organisations and individuals alike find this as an easy guide to mitigate some of the problems they are facing in this situation. As we ace this new working method, we believe, it is incredibly crucial to take care of ourselves and the strategies we adopt to meet professional needs.”

According to the research study, it was revealed that for the past year, as many as 46% of employees have been working from home. Since the onset of the pandemic, laptops and cell phones have played a critical role in ensuring that our professional obligations are always met. This has led to increased screentime. The study revealed that nearly 72% of the Indian workforce spends over 9 hours a day connected to computer or laptop screens to meet their deadlines at work. Additionally, 35% of respondents admitted to attending more than 20 virtual calls on a typical working day, one after another. In addition to this, 41% of employees experience moderate to extreme irritation levels and burning in their eyes at the end of long virtual calls. While, 19% of respondents claimed to experience blurry vision after extended video calls. The research further revealed that an alarming 86% of employees are experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with women suffering more than their male counterparts. Employees in the age group of 26 to 40 have reported the highest number of complaints of pain.

The research study propagates practicing digital wellbeing:

· To reduce stress caused to eye and neck muscles, the screen needs to be aligned with the user’s height by keeping it at eye level or slightly below it

· To reduce eye strain, adjust the gadget’s brightness or contrast levels.

· Set a timer on the phone or any app to remind to look away from the screen.

· Taking calls in audio mode can be more comfortable than video, especially for extended meetings. It enables attendees to conveniently take a posture break, walk around, multitask, and even attend to children and family members when needed.

· Blink eyes often and keep doing eye exercises to reduce fatigue

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