If you have attended many online meetings, you may have been wondering why they are so exhausting. This is not necessarily because of the content, but because of the nature of the communication. It is a multitasking activity, meaning that you have to be a bit more aware of your surroundings and your emotions than if you were meeting face-to-face.
Multitasking reduces productivity
Multitasking can be a very useful skill in the fast-paced business world. But multitasking can also cause problems and reduce productivity. For example, studies have shown that it takes 15% more time to complete a task if you multitask. This is because it requires mental shifts and can cause mistakes and errors.
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Multitasking can be good for some people, especially those who need to think on their feet. On the other hand, it can cause miscommunications, lost deadlines, and a whole host of other problems. If you’re multitasking, be sure to take regular breaks, and stick to one task at a time.
In the real world, multitasking can be quite costly. It can distract you from your work, and can lead to increased errors, missed deadlines, and poor quality work. Fortunately, you can improve your efficiency and increase productivity by focusing on one task at a time.
One study found that workers who multitask are more susceptible to distractions, more likely to make mistakes, and less equipped to solve problems. These multitaskers often find it hard to interact with their colleagues.
Researchers at Stanford University found that heavy multitaskers have a problem with working memory, which hinders their ability to filter out irrelevant information. Aside from the negative effects of multitasking, it can be a very taxing activity.
“Zoom fatigue” is a term used to describe the psychological effects of video conferences. While the term is a euphemism for an exhausting experience, the technical hurdles aren’t the only stumbling blocks.
The ZEF (Zoom Entertainment Framework) scale was developed to measure fatigue. It includes an average of 15 items spanning the gamut. They include the usual suspects like the number of participants, quality of audio, number of meeting participants, and a couple of non-work related ones.
While the ZEF score is not a formal diagnosis, it’s a useful metric for measuring the quality of a company’s remote work program. For many companies, it’s a matter of trimming unnecessary meetings. One possible reason for this is to reduce social isolation.
What’s the buzz around online meetings? According to the survey, employees in Israel and Germany reported subjective experiences in video conference meetings. Other workers in the same office in the same city mentioned similar experiences. Interestingly, the most successful employees were those who tended to participate in fewer meetings. However, those who participated in more virtual meetings on a regular basis did report some negative side effects.
In addition to the usual suspects, the most important benefit of participating in an online video conference was a heightened sense of social belonging. Employees in Israel and Germany noted that the ability to interact with others despite geographical distance made the experience more enjoyable.
The use of front-facing cameras during video meetings is linked to increased fatigue. This is called Zoom fatigue. Research suggests that women experience this more than men.
A University of Arizona study found that the use of a camera during a virtual meeting is more tiring than having it off. New employees are particularly affected by this. Moreover, the effects of being on the camera were significantly stronger for women.
As a result, the study found that employees’ engagement during meetings declined. It also found that employees were less focused, which made them more vulnerable to fatigue.
One explanation for this is that having a camera on makes people more aware of their appearance. Another is that workers are forced to decode body language.
Several experts have suggested that limiting the use of video calls during meetings may be a way to alleviate the need for self-presentation. Using a wide-angle camera may also help relieve this need.
Another approach is to give employees the choice of whether they want to turn on their cameras. This can be done by allowing them to take a break for a portion of a meeting.
Some companies have created “Zoom-free Fridays.” These allow employees to have one day off from video meetings.