All Zoomed Out
Jeremy N. Bailenson is a professor and the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Like many of us, he finished a working week at his desk in front of a glaring screen and walked away exhausted.
The truth is that millions of us are in the same boat due to virtual working and increased workload as employers frantically peddle the business bicycle.
Bailenson posits that Zoom has been both a blessing and a curse during the pandemic. It’s easy to use, free or relatively cheap and has allowed schools, businesses, communities and families to connect during a difficult year.
On the other hand, regular teleconferencing (usually daily multiples) comes with a hefty tax. The majority of which is fronted by our mental load and energy.
Zoom is not the villain. We can’t escape the usefulness of videoconferencing technology and nor should we. While software engineers work round the clock to enhance the user experience, the origins of the issue are generously divided with, you guessed it, us. The user.
Below are the abridged causes and solutions for Zoom Fatigue raised by Bailenson:
Four ways video conferencing abducts our energy:
- Excessive direct eye-gazing at each other’s faces
- The stress of seeing our own faces and gestures
- Restriction of movement as we’re planted to a seat
- Increase in our cognitive load which can lead to increased mental effort
Tips to reduce Zoom Fatigue
- Hide self-view (Others can still see you if you wish)
- Minimise the video call screen
- Ensure participants take screen breaks
- Use other methods than videocalls
For the full paper, click here.
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