What is Zoom Fatigue? The common question is now on people’s lips. Who knew even online Zoom meetings could be so tiresome?
There is now a phrase for this phenomenon called “Zoom fatigue” because so many people have expressed how exhausted they feel after participating in Zoom meetings.
This, of course, helps us to understand why we get tired after participating in meetings on Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, or other video platforms.
There is a significant problem that hasn’t received enough attention, and it isn’t only a problem for us.
What is Zoom Fatigue?
Zoom fatigue is just the severe fatigue and exhaustion you could experience following a Zoom call. You might need to rest after the call because it can cause mental exhaustion. Zoom fatigue really exists.
Zoom fatigue is so pervasive in modern life that researchers from Stanford University and other similar institutions have examined its psychological effects.
What Causes Zoom Fatigue?
The Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab’s (VHIL) founding director, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, has spoken about the psychological effects of protracted Zoom meeting sessions.
In a paper that was published in the journal Technology, Mind, and Behavior, he discusses zoom fatigue in detail and highlights the four main reasons why it occurs.
1. Too Much Close-up Eye Gaze
Two issues occur from excessive eye gaze: the size of the faces on the screen and the length of time spent making eye contact and staring at the screen.
While extended eye contact can increase social anxiety, tension can also come from the size of faces on screens, and being on call for lengthy periods of time can make you hyperaroused, among other things.
2. Physical Mobility Restrictions
We can roam around and feel at home in our space during phone calls and in-person meetings, of course.
On Zoom calls, there is a constant demand to be in the other people’s field of view and a space constraint. This restricts our motion and causes us discomfort.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that moving about during meetings improves performance.
For instance, persons who are walking, even indoors, generate more original thoughts than those who are sitting, according to Bailenson.
3. Increased Cognitive Load
It is simple to automatically read gestures and non-verbal clues in a routine interaction.
Zoom calls, on the other hand, are different since they make it more difficult to communicate through gestures and non-verbal signs, adding to our cognitive burden.
For instance, when making a video call, you must ensure that your head is in the center of the screen.
Additionally, you may occasionally need to communicate with exaggerated gestures like nodding and giving thumbs up.
4. Increased Self-criticism and Unfavorable Self-evaluation
We are constantly presented with a mirror picture of ourselves in video meetings. We may become more self-critical as a result, which can be quite uncomfortable for us.
According to research referenced by Bailenson, when we frequently dwell on ourselves, we might be quite critical of ourselves and adversely rate ourselves.
That can be incredibly tiring and unpleasant for us since it feels like someone is always watching us and holding up a mirror while we interact with others, make decisions, or get and offer feedback.
Common Zoom Fatigue Sign
You’ve just concluded a lengthy Zoom call, and now you’re experiencing some strange feelings. These might resemble burnout or extreme fatigue.
The following are some typical signs of zoom fatigue:
- Becoming exhausted after making several calls
- Extreme exhaustion as the day draws to a close
- Inability to focus during the meeting
- Excessive perspiration and unease throughout the conversation
- Eye strain or headache during or during the call
- Muting your video or multitasking while on the call
- After meetings, feeling the need to spend some time alone
- Feeling left behind and unmotivated.
Solutions and Tips for Zoom Fatigue
Here are a few Zoom fatigue tips for you if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect that Zoom fatigue is to blame.
1. Work at Your Own Pace
The best approach to avoid tiring meetings has to be this.
As opposed to doing everything at the same time, you have to set your own pace. Since everything is done in writing, it is the ideal approach to have clear communication with your staff
It works incredibly well for stand-up and check-in meetings and is a terrific method for remote teams to collaborate more productively.
Since everyone works at their own pace, it also cuts down on the time and necessity for Zoom calls.
2. Keep Your Video Turned Off by Default.
You can avoid automatically turning on the video for the majority of your calls, especially those that aren’t internal unless it is essential to the conversation.
You should only use voice calls when speaking to strangers or people you don’t need to impress.
You can always ask the other person on an internal Zoom session, particularly a one-on-one call, to switch to a phone call so that both of you can take a break from video calls.
3. You Mustn’t Attend Every Meeting.
Naturally, there will be meetings you have to attend, but there are some that you can decline to go to.
Even though there may be a lot of pressure to show up for every meeting, you can always keep informed by watching the recordings or reading the minutes afterward.
You can always choose to take a walk while on the call and turn your video off when you are not speaking or presenting during meetings that you definitely must attend.
You can avoid feeling like you’re being watched continuously by doing this.
4. Let the Meeting End at the Scheduled Time.
We frequently go over the meeting finish time on our Zoom calls. Another reason we often feel more worn out than usual and struggle to return to work is because of this.
The wisest course of action may occasionally be to adhere to the meeting finish time.
You can send out a meeting agenda to ensure that you don’t end up talking about items that aren’t on the agenda and that the meeting ends on time.
Zoom calls don’t, of course, always equate to work and no play.
Don’t forget to participate in those enjoyable online game sessions with your team to unwind and strengthen team ties.