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Switching Cameras off in Virtual Meets Reduces ‘Zoom Fatigue’, A Research Reveals

In reality, those who had cameras on were potentially participating less than those not using cameras.
Virtual Meet Fatigue
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More than 16 months have passed and still, most of us are stuck in front of our laptops staring at Zoom Meetings. Be it office work or the meetings, Zoom app has become our second home. In this pandemic, remote work has become daily routine and virtual meetings have become a familiar part of daily life.

In reality, those who had cameras on were potentially participating less than those not using cameras. This counters the conventional wisdom that cameras are required to be engaged in virtual meetings.

Many people are now sick of this routine and are feeling fatigue. The continuous hours in front of the screens is causing a major problem to our eyes too. Sometimes it gets so difficult when there are others at home and eventually disturbance is also caused during meetings.

“There’s always this assumption that if you have your camera on during meetings, you are going to be more engaged. But there’s also a lot of self-presentation pressure associated with being on camera. Having a professional background and looking ready, or keeping children out of the room are among some of the pressures,” Gabriel said.

Recently a study in Washington, US has found out a new term called ‘Zoom Fatigue’-a feeling of being drained and lacking energy following a day of virtual meetings. They have also found a solution to this fatigue and that is by turning your cameras off for a while when avoidable during virtual meetings can reduce this fatigue.

This research is conducted by Allison Gabriel, McClelland Professor of Management and Organisations and University Distinguished Scholar in the University of Arizona Eller College of Management and he suggests that keeping your cameras on is a major issue that contributes to this fatigue. 

The research conducted by Gabriel and her colleagues was conducted over 4 weeks. It was more of an experiment which involved 103 participants and over 1400 observations. After the research, they found it evident that switching videos on is indeed tiring during any virtual meeting.

Gabriel defined, “Employees who are typically extra susceptible when it comes to their social position within the workplace, reminiscent of ladies and newer, much less tenured workers, have a heightened feeling of fatigue after they should maintain cameras on throughout conferences. Women usually really feel the strain to be effortlessly good or have a larger probability of kid care interruptions, and newer workers really feel like they have to be on digicam and take part with a purpose to present productiveness.”

Gabriel feels that at the end, we want employees to feel autonomous and supported in their work environment. Hence she feels that employees should have the complete autonomy to choose whether or not they want to switch their cameras on. At the same time, she also says that people switching cameras off should not be considered as those with lack of interest or distracted.

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