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.
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.