Zoom fatigue is scientifically proven – but so what?

I know that everyone refers to zoom fatigue.

I know that we are all (including children now home schooling) drained and mentally exhausted at the end of the day.

But I didn’t realise that Microsoft has actually researched it and got data to support this trend.

Yes, I know Microsoft is behind Teams but, as I read recently, Zoom has become the verb for virtual meetings.

The Microsoft study was on virtual meetings in generally not specifically Teams use and measure brainwave activity during different work activities. 

They concluded that remote meetings were more stressful than non-meeting tasks.  Noting that the following issues were likely to be factors in the increase in stress levels:

  1. Having to focus for a long time on the screen whilst simultaneously extracting information and stay engaged
  2. Reduction of non-verbal cues to help read the room
  3. Very little ability to view how people are reacting to what you are presenting.

The fatigue typically kicks in abut 30-40 minutes into a meeting.

As a result of this study Microsoft created their ‘Together Mode’ and ‘Dynamic View’ the former essentially tricks the brain into thinking everyone is together in one room thus reducing stress.

I can’t help thinking there are far more simple solutions available that aren’t the use of more technology to trick the brain into thinking the original technology is providing something it’s not!

Like having shorter meetings.

You can download the ultimate template to reduce the length of your meeting by half here.

PS if you’d like to read the full article on the Microsoft research, here’s the link:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/07/08/future-work-good-challenging-unknown/