As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues into its second year, people have become accustomed to handling most or all of their personal and professional interactions remotely. Videoconferencing has become a normal part of daily life. Videoconferencing fatigue, now commonly called “Zoom fatigue” in reference to one of the most popular videoconferencing platforms, refers to the exhaustion caused by constant video calls.
While Zoom fatigue is not yet an official diagnosis, many psychologists state that the condition is both real and prevalent in the new pandemic era.
Constant video calls on any platform, including Google, Skype, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, and other professional platforms can lead to fatigue. People can start to feel extra irritable, less energized, constantly “on the clock” for work, confused or awkward during meetings, and isolated even while communicating with others.
There are scientific reasons for these feelings. Video calls can make people feel like they are always “on.” People are hyper-aware of their appearance, their mannerisms, the sound of their voice, and they can begin to feel like they are “performing” in a way that is not true of in-person interactions. The silence on the other end of the line when people mute their microphones, delays in response time, as well as the added effort necessary to identify nonverbal cues via video chat, contribute to stress and fatigue as well.
Video calls from home also allow us to become easily distracted. When technology fails us--the WiFi goes out, someone’s camera or microphone fails to work, etc.--we can feel even more overwhelmed.
Learn more in our complete article, "Videoconferencing Fatigue and What to Do About It."