Researchers at Silicon Valley’s Stanford University have confirmed that ” Zoom fatigue” causes more significant stress than meeting in real life because of the “non-verbal overload” of endless video calls. The researchers found that meetings conducted via video calls leave participants feeling more exhausted and emotionally drained than those held face to face. The research found that “seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing”.
The study by Jeremy Bailenson, professor of communication and founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, found that Zoom fatigue’s underlying causes include “excessive amounts of close-up eye gaze” and “increased self-evaluation from staring at video of oneself”. He suggested automatically hiding the “selfie” window that reflects the user at themselves after the first few seconds of a call. Bailenson also recommended that Zoom users, themselves, could make simple changes to reduce the strain, such as shrinking the video window’s size so that other faces do not feel so close. More video meetings should be conducted as phone calls, he added.