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Exhausted After Back-to-Back Meetings? You May Have ‘Zoom Fatigue’

According to a Stanford study, Zoom fatigue is a consequence of spending hours on any video-calling platform.

Published
Digital Health
2 min read
Zoom Fatigue. Image used for representation only.
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If you feel drained after a day of constant work notifications and Zoom meetings, you’re probably going through “Zoom Fatigue” according to researchers at Stanford University.

Zoom fatigue is a consequence of spending a number of hours on any video calling platform, says Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL).

According to the research, published on Tuesday, 23 February, “Zoom Fatigue” is caused due to four primary reasons: excessive and intense eye contact, constantly watching yourself on the screen, the limited mobility while working from home, and the energy spent identifying social cues one normally picks up in in-person interactions.

“In general, for most setups, if it’s a one-on-one conversation when you’re with co-workers or even strangers on video, you’re seeing their face at a size which simulates a personal space that you normally experience when you’re with somebody intimately,” 
Professor Jeremy Bailenson, Founding Director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL)

Temporary Solutions to Minimise Your ‘Zoom Fatigue’

According to Professor Bailenson, as a temporary solution, users should use the “hide self-view” button, which one can access by right-clicking their own photo, until the platforms change the default practice of beaming the video to both self and others, when it only needs to be sent to others.

Bailenson also recommends taking Zoom out of the full-screen option and reducing the size of the Zoom window relative to the monitor to minimise face size, and also use an external keyboard to allow an increase in the personal space bubble between oneself and the grid.

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According to the study, giving oneself an “audio only” break during the meetings is also a practice one can accommodate during meetings.

“This is not simply you turning off your camera to take a break from having to be nonverbally active, but also turning your body away from the screen so that for a few minutes you are not smothered with gestures that are perceptually realistic but socially meaningless,” said Bailenson.

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