A recent study by the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) identified four consequences of prolonged video chats using software such as zoom, and has labeled it as “zoom fatigue”
- Excessive close-up, intense eye contact causes a hyper alert state – one solution is to minimise the zoom window to reduce the size of the faces on screen.
- Seeing yourself constantly on-screen is tiring – use the “hide self” button once you have framed your face
- Reduced mobility from being restricted to sitting in front of the camera – set up the room to enable you to move as you would on audio-only call. Turn the camera off periodically to move.
- Reduced natural body gestures force an increase in exaggerated facial gestures and expressions – take an “audio break” by turning off your camera for a short period and also turn away from the screen to focus on listening rather than staring at faces.
So how do we know if we have “zoom fatigue”? Stanford University has published their (not yet peer-reviewed) paper and provided the accompanying online questionnaire which consists of 15 questions. It can be found here.
What can we do to support staff? Whether you decide to invite staff to complete the questionnaire or not, it is important to recognise the findings of this recent study and provide information on how to avoid the common signs of fatigue from online video conferencing to improve working practices.
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)