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Culture of Care: Resource Spotlight

This week our resource spotlight is turning back to Zoom fatigue, with some solutions to combat it.

You would think that a year into Zoom meetings we would have all mastered the tips and tricks by now, but it seems like I’m always learning of new ways to help. My personal favorite from the following article was the tip to “hide self-view” which I was not aware of until now!

A recent article by Stanford Researchers shows four reasons why video, or zoom, meetings fatigue us, with helpful and simple solutions for each. See the reasons and solutions summarized here:

Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense. In a normal meeting, everyone’s focus is usually on the person speaking, but in Zoom meetings everyone is usually looking at everyone, and the amount of eye contact is much greater. Faces on Zoom are usually much larger than how you normally would experience when you’re with someone in person which can cause our brains to interpret it as an intense situation. Solution: Take Zoom out of the full-screen option to minimize face size and increase space between yourself and your camera.

Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing. It’s unnatural to have to look at your own face while you are speaking in real-time. When you see a reflection of yourself, you are typically more critical of yourself. Solution: Use the “Hide self-view” button in zoom. You can access it by right clicking your own photo, or hovering and clicking on the three dots. Then click on “hide self-view”.

Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility. In-person and audio conversations allow us to walk around and move more. However, in video conferencing you are restricted to a smaller space so you can stay in the camera view. Solution: Move the camera further back so there is more space to move, and periodically turn your camera off for a brief nonverbal rest.

The cognitive load is much higher in Zoom. When we are face-to-face nonverbal communication is natural. In video meetings we have to work much harder to send and receive signals. It requires more thought which in turn leads to more cognitive load. Solution: Not only take breaks by turning off your camera, but by turning away from the computer and taking some time for audio only communication to lessen your cognitive load.

Take good care.

Culture of Care Team