Almost a quarter of US bosses say they have fired an employee for a mistake they have made during a video or audio conference call in the last 12 months, a new poll has found.
Showing up late to a Zoom meeting, having a bad internet connection, forgetting to unmute a microphone, or having a frozen screen are all causes for concern as more and more staff end up working from home.
But one in four bosses are so annoyed with mistakes made online that they have fired an employee, according to a study by Wakefield Research.
Two hundred managers were polled by the company, but the bosses were not asked exactly why they had terminated their employees.
The study found 91 percent of managers have reported some kind of problems during virtual meetings.
And a whopping 42 percent of bosses reported they blamed their employees for the glitches.
But not all of them were fired.
Most bosses reported informally reprimanding their employees at 40 percent, while 38 percent said they had issued formal a reprimand.
But 33 percent said a staffer had been removed from a project, and 24 per cent admitting to firing someone.
Twenty-four per cent of 200 bosses surveyed by Wakefield Research revealed they had fired a staff member due to an error, such as audio or video problems, during virtual meetings
The most common error is connection issues, with 75 per cent of people having to reschedule meetings and 41 per cent missing deadlines
Ninety-one per cent of bosses surveyed said they have experienced collaborative issues due to virtual technology
A staggering 75 per cent of the bosses surveyed – who had to be at VP or above at a company at of least 500 people – said they had to reschedule a meeting due to technical difficulties and glitches.
Forty-one per cent stated they missed a deadline and 32 per cent said they lost a client or an opportunity because of the difficulties that come along with remote and virtual business models.
There have been high-profile cases of Zoom blunders since more people started working from home.
Some Zoom difficulties ended up with bosses turning into potatoes, lawyers showing up to court with a cat head filter, and students logging into class with embarrassing usernames from fun Zoom parties with their friends.
Other times, it results in being fired.
Jeffrey Toobin tweeted that he has been fired from the New Yorker three weeks after allegedly being caught masturbating on a Zoom call with magazine staff
The magazine also released a statement to its staff confirming it had parted ways after a three-week investigation over the incident in October
Recently, the New Yorker fired their star reporter Jeffrey Toobin after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with his colleagues.
He was relieved of his services by the publishing giant, Condé Nast, who owns the New Yorker magazine.
The company released a statement through The Daily Beast, stating they ‘take workplace matters seriously.’
He wrote in a November 2020 Twitter statement: ‘I was fired today by @NewYorker after 27 years as a Staff Writer. I will always love the magazine, will miss my colleagues, and will look forward to reading their work.’
Meanwhile, other virtual blunders just cause a good laugh among employees.
Looking nothing short of disappointed, Lizet Ocampo (pictured as a potato) was left stumped when she accidentally turned on a potato filter during a Microsoft Teams meeting
Ocampo’s employees had a great laugh as their bosses carried on with their meeting with the hilarious filter
Recently, a New Zealand minister’s son barged into during one of her meetings with a phallic shaped carrot.
Although she admitted to laughing at it now, in the moment, she was quite embarrassed.
In April 2020, a boss hilariously turned herself into a potato and couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.
Liz Ocampo, political director at People for the American Way, was left stumped when she suddenly turned herself into a potato during a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Although she looks solely disappointed in herself in the screenshot her employee took, the others couldn’t help but laugh as their boss carried on looking like a potato throughout the whole meeting.
In another hilarious mistake, a lawyer showed up to court with a cat filter in February.
Lawyer Rod Ponton experienced his mishap during a virtual hearing for the 394th Judicial District court of Brewster.
The hearing began with the presiding judge saying: ‘I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings and you might want to turn it off.’
The filter followed Ponton’s eyes nervously glancing around as he tried to remove the filter with the help of his assistant.
Lawyer Rod Ponton entered a court hearing with a cat filter on, which the judge didn’t appreciate, and had to ask his assistant to help him turn it off
Ponton is then heard letting out a panicked ‘aghh’ before notifying the judge that his assistant was trying to help him remove the filter.
Even more importantly, as school starts back up this fall, is for students to double check their usernames before logging on to their first virtual class.
This student mistakenly logged into her class with the username ‘big t***y b****h.’
Student Anne Marie Mackey said she used the name during a Zoom party with her friends back in April 2020 and forgot to chance it back for the start of the fall 2020 school year.
But while many bosses have said they’ll sack an employee over a mistake, most times you can just count on giving your colleagues or fellow students a long needed laugh.
College student Anne Marie Mackey posted about her Zoom fail on Twitter after she forgot to change her username back to a school appropriate one