Do you feel like you’ve been glued to your computer monitor because of all the virtual meetings you’ve had throughout the pandemic? Many former officer workers do and now there’s even a name for the increased strain of all this videoconferencing - “Zoom fatigue.” It’s pretty much what it sounds like, although it’s not limited to Zoom, it applies to all video chat services. According to JeremyBailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, the term describes the exhaustion caused by needing to feel “switched on” all the time for all the online meetings.
New research from Stanford finds that Zoom fatigue can lead to burnout, stress and boredom on the job. Fortunately, there are things you can do to combat this, including:
- For eye contact - Locking eyes with coworkers to show you’re paying attention can be intense and demanding, especially if you do it several times a day. Bailenson advises not using the full screen setting so your colleagues will look a little smaller and you won’t feel as pressured to make constant eye contact.
- For self-consciousness - Watching yourself in video meetings can enhance performance anxiety, so if you’re not presenting, turn your camera off when you can. And for the times when you have to keep it on, adjust your settings so you only see the other person on the chat.
- For mobility - Video chats mean we can’t move around as much as we need to, so if you can turn off your camera and wear bluetooth headphones, you could walk around and stand when you feel like it.