Zoom fatigue is what people have started calling the feeling that many people get after they’ve been doing Zoom meetings for too long. This specific type of fatigue is something that’s been plaguing many people who have started working from home due to COVID-19. However, not a lot of people really understand how Zoom fatigue happens, which can limit their ability to avoid it. Here are four of the main reasons that you may be experiencing Zoom fatigue.
1. High Levels of Eye Contact
You might not think that eye contact makes you uncomfortable, but video conferencing tools artificially increase the amount of eye contact that you experience. Plus, if you’re using your video conferencing tools in full-screen mode, you can make other people appear “too large for comfort,” which can make the problem even worse. Reducing the size of your video chat window can help reduce those levels of eye contact.
2. You Constantly See Yourself in Real-Time Video
When you have a typical in-person meeting, you can’t usually see yourself. However, in a Zoom meeting, you can see yourself in a small bubble in the bottom corner of the video conferencing tools. It can be extremely stressful, even if you don’t have a problem with how you look. Check around for a “hide self-view” button to see if you can reduce this specific problem.
3. Your Mobility Is Likely Reduced
When you’re utilizing face-to-face communication, you typically have the ability to move around to an extent. Even if you’re not actually walking around, you may be able to fiddle with things in your hands, gesture more easily, and do things like lean back in your chair. When you’re on a video call, you’re probably not able to do many of those things. An external video camera may allow you to walk around, and even just doodling during the meeting can help.
4. Your Cognitive Load Is Much Higher in Video Chats
Nonverbal cues are an important part of communication, but in a video chat, it can be much harder to both read and express nonverbal cues. In a physical conversation, you may just shake your head very slightly, but if you’re trying to get the same idea across in a video conversation, you’re going to need to shake your head more strongly, and constantly thinking about this is exhausting. The best way to get around it is to occasionally take a break from the action and do audio-only conference calls from time to time.
Zoom fatigue is one of the elements of modern life that can feel almost unavoidable. It’s true that Zoom fatigue is simply part of life for many people, but it doesn’t have to be a fully unavoidable part of life for everyone. If you want the best experience with Zoom, you may want to think about these things when you schedule your next Zoom meeting. This can definitely help you avoid issues with Zoom fatigue for yourself and your colleagues