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Avoiding the Dreaded Zoom Fatigue
Aug 04, 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of Americans to work remotely, forcing traditionally in-person conferences to be held over video chat services like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom. Stanford University published a study that identified the psychological effects of video conferencing on our lives and some techniques for avoiding energy taxes. They discovered that persons who have regular and extended videoconferences struggle more from 'Zoom fatigue .' People who have this significant amount of Zoom fatigue are likely to have a more unfavorable opinion regarding Zoom.

Zoom Fatigue

"Zoom fatigue" happens when you are concerned, exhausted, or apprehensive due to the number of video conversations you attend during the workplace and in your spare time. These gatherings have the potential to disrupt our psychology. We're sort of tethered to a screen while we're on video calls the whole day. It's just psychologically distressing. Having to show up again, but the problem is that we aren't really showing up any place. 

Video conferencing can also demand more mental effort than a regular face-to-face meeting, putting pressure on participants to be fully engaged and attentive. A video call, for example, forces you to stay in one position for the duration of the meeting. You can't rotate or recline your seatback. Rather, you're locked in the center of your computer display, and if you wander, your video may look shaky. 

The excessive and frequent quantity of eye contact is one source of stress. Public speaking nervousness is a fairly regular occurrence. So, when you're on a Zoom call, you feel like you're the focus of attention, which is quite exhausting for the mind. In addition to the staring, Zoom brings us very close to one another's faces, which can be quite activating for the brain since, in actual situations, this type of intimacy with other individuals would either lead to intimacy or conflict, so it's a profound feeling.

Here are some methods for overcoming Zoom fatigue:

Don't go full-screen mode

One of the most common phobias in contemporary society is social anxiety over speaking in public. When you're standing up there, and everyone is watching you, it's a stressful environment. Exiting full-screen mode and minimizing the window size can make the eyes staring at you smaller, significantly reducing the anxiety of speaking skills.

Follow the 20-20-20" principle

Look at something other than a display 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes to reduce eye strain.

Not every call requires the use of video

It is sometimes easier and better to make a phone call rather than a video call. Think about how you're using Zoom calls. You most likely do not require video chat for all of your work.

Alternatively, take an "audio-only" break

Based on a study, having a video conference has a more considerable "mental burden" than talking in person. During a video conversation, nonverbal cues such as frowning may signify something else than it does in person. Furthermore, individuals on video calls tend to exaggerate movements such as smiling or giving a thumbs up. Taking an "audio-only" recess during lengthy sessions can be a turning point.

Use a standing desk to stand up and move around quickly

Although you may not get up and roam around during a video chat, you can use a standing desk or another surface to switch from sitting and standing during the conversation. You should also get up and stretch or walk around between meetings to get your blood circulating and keep you up, just in case those conferences start to look like a bright light and you catch yourself slipping off to daydreaming in lethargy. When using a standing desk, make sure you maintain appropriate posture and that your computer display is at eye level, as leaning down might cause your eyes to tire out and your eyelids to close. Additionally, using a standing desk creates a distance between you and the computer camera so that you don't have to appear too close to everyone else's screen, which can cause anxiety for some.

Pacing or moving in some fashion is rather prevalent. Looking intently at a laptop screen at home while sitting at a desk in a static manner of interacting can contribute to poor efficiency. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that when people move, they do better cognitively. People will execute those movements while remaining visible on the video conference if the camera is moved back.

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Switch locations

Even if you live in the same neighborhood, try to make your workplace feel distinct from your home. For example, after you finish working, alter the illumination or remove the coffee mug from your desk to establish a barrier between your work and home life.

Keep yourself hidden from yourself

Many video conference platforms feature a secondary box that shows how you look, resulting in people being hypercritical of themselves if this happens for an extended time. In the actual world, it would be absurd if someone followed you about with a mirror all the time so that when you were speaking to friends, making choices, giving feedback, and providing feedback, you would see yourself in a mirror. Many of those platforms allow users to hide the self-view section while remaining visible to the rest of the people attending.

Take a break in between meetings

Schedule short breaks between sessions or wrapping up one conference 5-10 minutes before the next. This should be enough time to collect your thoughts, cool down, or have coffee.

Conclusion

Workplace burnout is a prevalent problem. A global health catastrophe that is still ongoing does not improve matters. Zoom sessions and other aspects of work-from-home living are likely to continue, so explore how you can keep up with your business while also focusing on your health. If you are a manager or own a company, you may assist your employees by providing a little extra grace. Maintain open channels of communication and be willing to make compromises in your expectations.