New research provides evidence that videoconferences can be mentally exhausting, especially when participants don’t feel some sense of group belonging…
In the study, which included 55 employees in various fields, participants received nine hourly surveys every day for five consecutive working days in 2020. The participants completed a total of 1,746 surveys in total. Only about 7% of the participants didn’t report any signs of videoconference fatigue.
I think they were suffering from “survey fatigue” as much as “Zoom fatigue”.
The researchers also found that videoconference fatigue was lower in the morning but increased throughout the afternoon and early evening.
Yes, people get more tired as the day goes on.
Participants often attributed their videoconference fatigue to sustained attention. “I do feel more tired after videoconference meetings especially if my camera is on, because I feel that expectation to look at the camera all the time to pay attention,” one participant reported.
I always leave my camera on, it is the polite thing to do. But I minimise the Zoom/Teams/Skype/whatever screen so that I can look at the actual documents we are discussing and not worry about trying to read facial expressions or being otherwise distracted by angled shots of the rooms they are sitting in. That way I am not tempted to say things like “Why is there a naked woman/man* standing behind you?” and watch them turn round in shock.
* Use opposite gender to the person on the screen.
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