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Doug Hassebroek eats breakfast while on a video conference call working from home during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S., April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
TechTank

TechTank Podcast Episode 7: How can we cope with Zoom fatigue?

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The phrase “telecommuting” was first coined in the early 1970s by a NASA employee named Jack Nilles. Nilles claimed telecommuting could offset traffic congestion, promote resource conservation, and be a major convenience for those so engaged. In addition to the societal and environmental benefits, CEOs of major companies said it increased productivity and offered greater flexibility for workers, as workplaces across the country adopted it as an option. 

But when COVID-19 hit, telework quickly went from an option to a necessity. Overnight, more than half of Americans went to work over Zoom. Months into the pandemic, we’re starting to see the consequences. But in the current environment, many major companies have announced that their employees will work remotely on a long term basis. Are we ready for this?


TechTank is a biweekly podcast from Lawfare and The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From racial bias in algorithms to the future of work, TechTank takes big ideas and makes them accessible. In a series of roundtable discussions and interviews with technology experts and policymakers, moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West unpack tech policy debates and highlight new data, ideas, and policy solutions. Future episodes will explore the role of technology in election interference, disinformation campaigns, school reopening and broadband access, the digital divide and more. Sign up to receive the TechTank newsletter for more research and analysis from the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.

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