June 2021
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Citigroup Embraces Zoom-Free Fridays

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

In March, approximately one year after a sizable portion of the workforce shifted to remote working arrangements, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser sent a memo to employees encouraging them to refrain from videoconferencing on Fridays. She called it "Zoom-Free Fridays."

According to the New York Times, Fraser stated in the memo that she was implementing the new perk out of a need to "combat the ‘Zoom fatigue' that many of us feel." The company encourages employees to instead communicate via phone, email, and other mediums on Fridays.

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Morale boosters such as Zoom-Free Fridays are not new and are in line with some of the more popularized workplace benefits such as no-meeting Wednesdays and casual Fridays. However, the purpose of Citigroup's perk is grounded in research.

"Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue," which published in the American Psychological Association's Technology, Mind, and Behavior journal, reveals that reduced mobility and sustained eye gaze are just a few reasons video chat calls can cause more exhaustion compared with other communication methods.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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