A Stanford University study endorses what millions of teleworkers have been experiencing for months: Zoom meetings are dog-exhausting and stressful.
There is now indisputable scientific evidence: online meetings are more stressful than physical meetings. That is the conclusion of a study at Stanford University published in the Financial Times.
The California study concludes that the cause of feelings of stress and fatigue after zoom meetings is’ high amount of very close-up eye contact ‘and’ increased self-awareness.
“Zoom users see their own reflection much more often and with a longer duration than ever before,” says communications professor Jeremy Bailenson, who led the study. ‘That creates an excessive self-awareness which can cause stress’. Women are said to be more sensitive to this than men.
Never before in history have we had to look at ourselves so often and for so long.
“Op Zoom, behaviors usually reserved for close relationships – such as long periods of direct eye contact and faces being seen up close – has suddenly become the way we interact with casual acquaintances, colleagues, and even strangers,” Bailenson writes.
The study suggests some simple solutions. For example, Zoom could hide the ‘selfie’ screen so that you no longer have to see yourself if you do not want to. Another solution is even simpler: more meetings via telephone.
Meeting tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have become indispensable in the past pandemic year. Zoom’s stock price has quadrupled since the outbreak. The longer the lockdowns continue, the more the psychological side effects of teleworking become apparent. ‘Although the problem of’ zoom fatigue ‘still pales in comparison with the stress and mental strain on hospital staff,’ Bailenson nuances. Earlier this week, HR company SD Worx also warned of the dire consequences of long-term teleworking.