For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been feeling strangely exhausted in a way I’ve never noticed before. I know I’ve started running, but not enough to cause more than a few twinges in my legs. It wasn’t until I read online about Zoom Doom or Zoom Fatigue that I understood.
On closer research, I discovered a BBC interview with Professor Petrigleri who explains why these virtual calls are so tiring.
- It’s 500 times harder to see. An average laptop has at best 1million megapixels in comparison to our eyes which are used to seeing in 500 million megapixels. So it takes a lot more concentration to pick up non-verbal cues
- About 80% of our body is missing. All you can see on screen is a person’s head, their hands and body language are missing. Personally, I talk a lot with my hands so I feel like I’m missing part of my ability to communicate. Again this makes it harder to pick up non-verbals and can be tiring.
- Interference. Whether it’s messages about your internet being unstable, a delay between sound and picture or seeing a frozen face (usually in a very funny image). Interference on a Zoom call is incredibly frustrating and exhausting.
- Being watched. The feeling of being watched and often recorded can be stressful. You might not be keen on seeing yourself on the screen and start picking your appearance apart. “Where did those new lines appear from?” or “Wow how did those roots grow so quickly?”
- Boring presentations. Boring presentations are even worse virtually. You may be tempted to half-listen while scrolling Facebook, but as you’re not fully engaged the whole session will drag.
- Invisible people. People who are naturally quieter and reflective can almost disappear in a Zoom meeting. Because communication is more difficult, you need to be more animated and engaged to make up for the missing clues. If you’re doing these meetings several times a day it’s not surprising your energy levels are drained.
What can you do to keep motivated and avoid Zoom Fatigue?
These tips will help with Zoom Doom and also ensure you communicate effectively.
- Avoid back to back virtual meetings. This is obvious but still true.
- Allow 15mins between calls to stand up and move
- Switch off the camera in some meetings
- As we don’t blink as much when we stare at a screen. Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something 20 metres away
- Hone some new animated ways to communicate. Smiling to encourage others, thumbs up, nodding to show interest or stroking your chin to show your thinking
- Stand up for some meetings. If you can find a way to keep your camera stable and at eye level then this is a good way to mix things up.
If you’d like to discuss how you embrace this new way of working with confidence. Then treat yourself to a free Career Breakthrough Call with me. You can go straight to my calendar here and I promise it won’t be via Zoom!
Stay safe and well.