(AscendHealthy.com) – Ever sign off from a video call and feel completely drained? Those Zoom calls may make us feel tired and listless. It’s not in our heads — Zoom fatigue is a real thing. Fortunately, there are ways we can reduce its impact on our lives. Read on for reasons, tips, and tricks.
Why Do Zoom Calls Cause Fatigue?
There’s no doubt that Zoom has been helpful for businesses and employees who need to stay connected. But it may also be causing fatigue for people who use it frequently. There are several reasons Zoom calls might cause fatigue, and understanding those reasons may make it easier to reduce their impact on our lives.
One of the reasons these calls may exhaust people is that close-up eye contact is very intense. Additionally, many people aren’t comfortable seeing themselves up-close during video chats. Those two reasons may be enough on their own, but they aren’t the only fatiguing issues with Zoom calls.
Zoom calls also reduce our mobility, and require us to take on a higher cognitive load. Typical phone calls allow us to walk around, but we can’t do that during a Zoom call. We also have to watch that we’re staying in the frame properly and focusing on non-verbal communication and gestures that are harder to convey without being in the same room. Together, all of those things may cause and intensify weariness.
Why Do Some People Have It Worse?
Not everyone reacts to Zoom calls in the same way. Some people may get through them without any problem, but other people become incredibly tired and exhausted from them. A Stanford study found that Zoom calls are far more tiring for women than they are for men.
The study indicated that the “self-view” aspect of Zoom calls might be what causes women to become so weary from them. The heightened level of awareness based on how they come across to others may cause them additional stress, on top of the focus and effort the calls themselves require.
Age, race, and personality also play a role in whether we’re affected by Zoom fatigue, with younger people getting tired faster. People of color reported higher levels of exhaustion, as did people who are more anxious and nervous by nature.
What Can We Do About Zoom Fatigue?
The most significant recommendation to reduce Zoom fatigue is to turn off the “self-view” feature. It’s also essential to take some time between calls to move around, stretch, and get away from the computer. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it can help.
Other ways to reduce this type of burnout are to schedule specific days where there aren’t any Zoom meetings and choose to make “video off” mandatory unless a particular meeting requires video support. Polling employees and colleagues regarding fatigue may also help by allowing everyone inputs on Zoom meetings options. The changes just might help the entire team feel better.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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