How to beat Zoom fatigue: definition, symptoms

How to beat Zoom fatigue: definition, symptoms

Today we use video conferencing tools more and more, partly because of the pandemic and remote work, and partly because it seems easier, faster, and more efficient. However, video calls can lead us to a new type of tiredness – Zoom fatigue. Here we explain to you everything you need to know about it.

What Is Zoom fatigue?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people experienced a new type of fatigue, the so-called Zoom Fatigue. According to the Psychiatric Times, more than 300 million participants of Zoom have encountered this problem during these times of permanent remote work, a multitude of video conferences during the day, and screen tiredness. Of course, this type of fatigue can be caused by any video conferencing service and not only by Zoom.

What causes Zoom fatigue?

There are many reasons why after each video call we feel so tired and sometimes even exhausted. As Dr. Lee says in the Psychiatric Times, oxytocin is the hormone involved in social bonding and doesn’t secrete as much during the video conference as it is when you meet people face to face. This natural reward system doesn’t work in the case of online meetings. The lack of eye connection and body language doesn’t help either. Moreover, the necessity to stare at the screen non-stop adds up some stress, eye strain, and general fatigue.

According to National Geographic, it’s also very challenging for the central vision and the brain itself to see many faces at once while using the Gallery View on Zoom. You have to simultaneously decode multiple facial expressions. Moreover, the problems caused by the video or sound disruption or a weak internet connection add up to everything mentioned above.

How to ease Zoom fatigue?

Though it is not possible to entirely give up on Zoom or another video conferencing software, such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, you can still alleviate and combat Zoom fatigue.

  • Keep your video meetings short (no longer than 1 hour) and focused. Try not to do anything else during the meeting and if you have several conferences during the day, make sure to make pauses between sessions to make your eyes and brain rest.
  • You can turn off your camera when you are not speaking. This way you can continue listening to your colleagues without worrying about where you are looking and how you look.
  • Prioritize Speaker View mode over Gallery View to concentrate on only one face.
  • “That could have been an email”: Make sure that you really need a video conference for some discussions. If the subject could be presented via e-mail, text, or just a short telephone call, save everyone's time and energy.
  • Use F.lux or other apps of this type to adjust the intensity of blue light emitted by your screen and reduce the eye strain.
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