The phenomenon of meeting fatigue is not new. Video-conferencing technologies may be partly responsible for this phenomenon. Meetings that are too long, too frequent, or lack direction may also contribute. This article looks at some of these factors. Weigh the pros and cons of virtual meetings and decide for yourself. Here are some tips for your next virtual meeting:
The Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab’s director, Jeremy Bailenson, recently published a paper on why online meetings are so tiring. The authors found that the lack of personal interaction during online meetings increases stress levels. This is due to the non-verbal overload experienced when participants are staring at a video. This causes an increased sense of self-evaluation. Zoom users are also seeing reflections on the video at an alarming frequency and duration.
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One of the main reasons why these meetings are so tiring is because participants are forced to sit in front of their computer screens for long periods of time. In person, a person can switch activities with relative ease. When it comes to work-related meetings, the stress level is typically significantly higher than during an in-person meeting. Jeremy Bailenson describes this feeling as “Zoom Fatigue.”
Zoom has become the staple of our modern lifestyle, but some studies have shown that these virtual meetings are also tiring for both men and women. According to researchers at Stanford University, the use of video calling and Zoom has significantly increased the stress levels of those who participate. The researchers attribute the stress to the non-verbal overload that occurs when participants spend more time staring at a video than conversing with people in person. The researchers also note that people who participate in Zoom meetings are experiencing increased self-evaluation during the meeting due to the “mirror effect” of the mirror on the video.
Zoom users should take audio-only breaks during long meetings. For example, they should gaze at things outside their window, or even wash their dishes. The ZEF scale, developed by Stanford communication researchers, also suggests that video-only meetings are exhausting for people. The goal of the study is to change the way we use video technologies and help people get more rest during meetings. The researchers’ findings could have profound consequences for the future of video technologies, including Zoom.
Microsoft has released details of a study that aims to better understand the ways in which online meetings and multitasking affect employees. Researchers from Amazon and the University College London analyzed the email logs and OneDrive cloud file activity of almost 100,000 US Microsoft employees. The results show that people in video meetings often multitask. Taking notes can help people focus and stay on task. In a study, Microsoft researchers found that people use multitasking to avoid wasting time in irrelevant meetings.
While the idea of multitasking might seem appealing at first, the reality is quite different. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can also lead to many negative effects. People may find it difficult to focus, and the conversation will suffer. Additionally, multitasking is mentally taxing, so there’s a good chance they’ll miss out on important points. While this isn’t the end of the world, it can cause exhaustion.
Overuse of virtual meetings
Whether videoconferencing is used in the classroom or as a stand-alone medium, overuse of virtual meetings can lead to physical and psychological fatigue. Videoconferencing requires an individual to focus more on the meeting than other media. This mental strain can lead to burnout. Similarly, the use of virtual meetings may lead to unenthusiastic or even aggressive behaviors among team members. However, while the causes of videoconferencing fatigue aren’t fully understood, managers and business leaders have devised some creative ways to deal with this issue.
Video conferencing tools can cause fatigue for the participants, as the visual stimulation can be taxing for the mind. Companies can remove video pressure to ensure employees have personal space to contribute to discussions. Additionally, research has shown that context-switching reduces productivity by 40%. It is important for teams to have the proper time for virtual meetings, and to discuss work styles and deadlines separately. The following tips may help companies prevent virtual meeting burnout.
Online meetings can be tiring, but switching to a speaker view can make a big difference. The speaker view minimizes distracting images and reduces the need to focus on face-to-face reactions. In fact, many workplaces offer benefits to reduce eye strain, including free physiotherapist services, prescription blue-light glasses, and software options. If you have been experiencing eye strain, switching to a speaker view can help you reduce the fatigue that comes with online meetings.
During an in-person meeting, people tend to glance at their notes, or even at the other person. When using a speaker view, people in a Zoom meeting are 100% focused on the speaker. This is beneficial for everyone in the meeting, and it eliminates the awkwardness that can come with clarification requests. It’s also useful to limit the number of participants in a video meeting. It’s also important to schedule regular breaks away from the computer. You should also set aside time before a meeting to take a break from the computer.
Keeping a camera on
Keeping a camera on during online meetings can be tiring for participants. The researchers conducted a study that measured participants’ fatigue, engagement level, and meeting duration. The results showed that meeting participants were more fatigued on days when the camera was on. This finding contradicts previous studies and is a result of the pandemic. However, it also highlights the importance of staying alert and engaging during meetings.
In addition to avoiding camera-free meetings, managers also have a role to play in setting the norm for using cameras. It is crucial to seek feedback from the workforce about camera use. When possible, give employees more autonomy in using the camera. In some cases, ask them how they feel about an engagement idea without a camera. If employees are unsure, consider changing the engagement idea to a more relaxed format.