I received this funny cartoon on whatsapp and it immediately sent me searching for any articles that speak to the new “webinar fatigue”.
Found this fantastic article from Fast Company titled – “Why You Feel Exhausted From Endless Zoom Calls”. Posting the important points from that article here.
- When we interact with another person through the screen, our brains have to work much harder. This is so true ! We are worried about how we look on screen or how we sound and obviously our brains have to work much harder.
- Making sense of what’s going on. Interviews over video apparently don’t go as well because, the non-verbal cues that our brains pick up are non-existent when the interviewer is not physically present.
- Taking mental shortcuts. Because these video calls are more taxing on the brain, it tends to take shortcuts and makes mistakes in the process. The article speaks of how medics focussed on whether they liked the presenter and not on the arguments they presented.
- Less Trust and Understanding. Apparently people are more likely to lie when on video calls and even seasoned judges are not able to spot the falsehoods !!
- Increased anxiety and emotional exhaustion. It has been noticed in different studies that people/students who are generally anxious tend to become even more anxious if the test is being conducted through video. This is particularly worrying as the world is trying to move education more and more online.
Some solutions suggested
- Don’t multitask. Actually even without the video calls, multitasking is losing its sheen. Everyone is realising that you cannot actually multitask, you can only focus on one thing at a time. If you delegate and plan well, it may appear as though you are multitasking :). On Video calls, don’t look at your phone or the TV or read a book etc. Focus on the call alone.
- Take short breaks. This is a great way to recharge even outside of video calls but definitely works when you are sitting in one place and getting on one call after the other.
- Hide your image. This is a great suggestion. I have always struggled with this. When my face is beaming back at me, all my attention is on “how I look”. Just hide your face and your focus gets back on track.
- Use alternate means of communication. There is voice only calls, email, text messages or even the good old posted letter :). Try some of the other means of communication so that the whole day isn’t about being on video calls.
Ofcourse in the new world silence is not much appreciated … someday silence will be golden. Till then we all can try some of the solutions mentioned in the article.
Reference – Why you feel exhausted from endless Zoom calls