Do you find it tiring to spend a lot of time on video calls? You’re not alone—pretty much everyone does. Stanford Research has now figured out exactly why… and what you can do about it.
The story lists four reasons why Zoom calls are tiring:
- Close-up eye contact is intense.
- Looking at yourself is stressful.
- Sitting still is hard.
- Video chats have a high cognitive load.
I could add a few more.
Zoom calls are recorded
Old fashioned in-person face to face meetings, especially the more routine ones, are not recorded for posterity. Zoom calls often are, although they don't have to be.
This means your errors, lapses and nervous ticks or mannerisms could be replayed over and over. Recognising this adds a huge amount of stress to the process.
It’s a variation on the theme in the fourth point: You need to stay at a high level of concentration all the time you are on a call. Real world meetings have natural lulls, natural rhythms that let your concentration fade in and out.
Always-on is stressful
This isn’t about mental discipline. You may want to disengage for a moment or two to think through something said in a meeting, maybe to compose your answer or response.
The always-on nature of a Zoom calls doesn’t leave the gaps to do this.
Then there is the bright display right in front of your face. It can be tiring simply sitting in front of a bright screen all day.