HSBC is piloting Zoom-free Friday afternoons for UK staff as it seeks to relieve the stress caused by endless virtual meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As first reported by the Telegraph, a bank taskforce is testing the Zoom ban as part of a wider investigation into how employees work during and after the pandemic.
"Zoom fatigue" has entered the lexicon over the last year, as people working from home experience tiredness, worry and burnout from overusing virtual platforms.
Even Zoom CEO Eric Yuan has admitted that he is affected and no longer schedules back-to-back meetings.
Citi was the first bank to moot the idea of Zoom-free Fridays, in a memo sent to employees in March by new chief Jane Fraser.
"I know, from your feedback and my own experience, the blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being," she wrote in the memo. "It's simply not sustainable."
Last month HSBC regulatory programme manager Jonathan Frostick went viral with a LinkedIn post in the wake of a heart attack.
Recalling how he was sitting at his desk on a Sunday preparing for work as his heart attack struck, Frostick explained that he worried: "Fuck I needed to meet with my manager tomorrow, this isn’t convenient".
Outlining six steps he plans to take post-attack, number one is "I'm not spending all day on zoom anymore".