Can you fight Zoom fatigue? Want to know your Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue score? Scientists to the rescue!
“Zoom fatigue” is what many event planners blame for low engagement. It almost seems like there’s no way out – unless you employ some science, you know (check Event Psychology Lab course).
Researchers from Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab have been studying this very issue to identify why videoconferencing is so taxing, and what we can do about it. This is what they say:
1. Unlike physical environment, in an online environment people stare at each other all the time. Such an excessive amount of eye contact, plus having faces too close is exhausting on a brain level. ???: “take Zoom out of the full-screen option & reduce the size of the Zoom window relative to the monitor”.
2. Seeing yourself on camera is like walking around with a mirror all the time – and studies suggest when you see your reflection, you are more critical of yourself. So being on camera becomes stressful on a subconscious level. ???: use the “hide self-view” button.
3. At online events, we have limited movement, and it’s cognitively tiring. ???: consider how you can change your environment/desk layout (e.g.use an external keyboard for more flexibility) & turn your video off regularly.
4. Humans perceive a lot of information through non-verbal communication, yet it is much harder to interpret and send these signals in the online context. For example, “Gestures could also mean different things in a video meeting context. A sidelong glance to someone during an in-person meeting means something very different than a person on a video chat grid looking off-screen to their child who just walked into their home office.” ???: go audio-only regularly, and turn your body away from screen. Bonus: to measure your ZEF score (and contribute to the study!) go take this survey: https://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5w2JruIAQzOgiTI
More details about the research and recommendations here: https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/