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Home working Brits say 22% of video calls freeze

Work from home Brits have had to put up with 22 per cent of the video calls they do freezing, and 15 per cent cutting out altogether – because of bad Wi-Fi, a study has found.

Research polling 2,000 adults found they have done an average of five video calls a week since the start of the pandemic. But a fifth of those also suffered delays, leading to awkward conversations as people tried to keep up with what was being discussed.

Following the findings, an amusing gallery of some embarrassing mid-call freeze moments has been compiled. It includes people being caught eating as the video screen freezes as well as those who lost connection while pulling an embarrassing facial expression.

Gareth Lister, director of connectivity at Virgin Media, which commissioned the research and compiled the images as part of the launch of Intelligent Wi-Fi Plus, said: “We understand how frustrating bad Wi-Fi can be and no one wants the shame of a frozen self-portrait.

With work meetings and social events being held virtually, it’s more important than ever that your Wi-Fi is on point all of the time and reaches every part of your home.”

The study also found that a quarter of adults lose patience with a frozen or lagging call after just 30 seconds of problems. Almost four in ten are left feeling frustrated while 21 per cent feel fed-up.

Of those polled, 15 per cent admitted they have taken a screenshot of someone else after they froze on the screen and 11 per cent have had their photo taken. This includes pictures of people yawning (22 per cent), eating (17 per cent) and rolling their eyes (10 per cent).

To get around the connection issues, people have restarted devices (19 per cent), moved closer to their router (12 per cent) or even to another room (10 per cent) in search of signal. A further 11 per cent have closed all other browsers while 10 per cent have upgraded their broadband package (10 percent).

But it’s not just video calls where Brits have experienced Wi-Fi issues, with films and TV shows buffering (30 per cent) and online games lagging (12 per cent) also leaving them frustrated.

Gareth, added: “People are going out of their way – quite literally to different rooms – to try and find a reliable W-Fi signal for crucial work calls or when catching up with family and friends.”

With the nation once again under lockdown restrictions, Brits most want to improve Wi-Fi in their office or work from home space (16 per cent) and in their living rooms to watch Ultra-HD TV (13 per cent) during the lockdown.

Biggest video call irritations:

1. Everyone speaking at once
2. Struggling to hear someone but not wanting to say ‘pardon’ again
3. Cameras freezing
4. Speaking before realising you’re on mute
5. Not being able to see everyone on the call at once
6. Not knowing when to jump in the conversation
7. Microphone not working
8. Struggling to share your screen
9. The call crashing and having to log back in
10. The call time running out and having to log back in

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash.