Zoom fatigue is real.
According to researchers at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, all that time you’re spending on Zoom or video calls is wearing you out at a much quicker rate than traditional face-to-face meetings.
Unlike in traditional face-to-face meetings, on video calls everyone is looking at everyone all of the time, and typically at a closer eye-to-eye distance, given how close people tend to sit to their screens. This presents us with a much more intense cognitive experience.
Imagine someone was following you around all day with a mirror. That’s essentially what it’s like on video calls — we tend to spend too much time focusing on our appearance instead of the speaker, and for the more self-conscious among us, it can become incredibly taxing mentally.
Whereas phone calls allow us to ‘walk n talk’, most video calls demand that we sit still, in one location, and plan our day around our video calls.
The typical non-verbal cues we pick up on in traditional face-to-face communication are not as obvious when it comes to video calls. Our brains need to work overtime to both send and receive non-verbal signals.
Fortunately, there are several quick fixes to the abovementioned challenges.
When it comes to remote work, most organizations are still at level 2 in the 5 levels of remote work.
Many are simply recreating the traditional office online, along with all of its shortcomings — back-to-back meetings and email overload.
Learning when to use video calls and when not to use video calls will go a long way to getting them further up the pyramid, because let’s face it, life’s too short to spend entire days in back-to-back Zoom calls, and most meetings don’t need to happen.
Steve Glaveski is on a mission to unlock your potential to do your best work and live your best life. He is the founder of innovation accelerator, Collective Campus, author of several books, including Employee to Entrepreneur and Time Rich, and productivity contributor for Harvard Business Review. He’s a chronic autodidact and is into everything from 80s metal and high-intensity workouts to attempting to surf and hold a warrior three pose.