Zoom fatigue causes and cures

What causes Zoom fatigue?

In Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue Professor Jeremy Bailenson of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab suggests these stress-inducing attributes of online meetings:

  • Eye gaze at a close distance. All these people are staring at me!
  • Cognitive load. The mental effort of parsing a lot of talk with few nonverbal cues (gestures, body language)
  • Looking at yourself all day. Viewing a reflection of yourself tends to make you more self-critical.
  • Reduced mobility. People are comfortable in face-to-face meetings moving around, stretching, making notes, refilling their water glass. But walking off camera (or forgetting you’re on camera) can be problematic.

Three ways to reduce Zoom fatigue — for yourself and others

  1. Use speaker view. There will be fewer people staring at you — and a less distracting view of yourself.
  2. Bring an object for show-and-tell. Encourage everyone else to put you on speaker view.
  3. Share a short video — a short narration-free video showing your product or service or idea in action will come as a welcome break.

That’s it for now. Stay well.

Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke