During the later part of 2020, work-from-home workers started experiencing extreme tiredness attributed to overuse of teleconferencing platforms like Zoom. Researchers took to studying the burnout phenomenon and found the anxiety caused by “Zoom fatigue” felt by work-from-home employees to be genuine, Last February 23, Stanford University researchers who conducted studies about :”Zoom fatigue” have established the causes.
The behavioral scientists named four main causes of “Zoom fatigue: 1) Limited mobility while attending numerous teleconferencing engagements; 2) Long hours of constantly watching video of themselves; 3) The need to maintain intense and at times excessive or multiple eye contacts, and 4) Energy they have to spend in identifying social cues during teleconferencing with different individuals.
Disruption of Active Lifestyles is a Key Factor
Scientists who wrote the study clarified that Zoom fatigue applies to any video calling technology and is not limited to Zoom. Being on calls for long periods of time can affect people in different ways as some may be greatly affected with the way they are forced to live a sedentary lifestyle. Staying active has been promoted as a very important element for a healthy lifestyle, mainly physical activity is significantly interconnected with lowered risks of suffering from fatigue by as much as 40%.
Zoom fatigue can truly affect individuals psychologically. The report explained that the extreme tiredness tends to filter stimuli. In turn it affects the pathways that allow dopaminergic neurons to perform their role in controlling multiple brain functions and behavioral process that trigger rewarding feelings,mood, stress and even addiction.
Moreover, the report also said Zoom fatigue can affect social lives as it heightens other contributing factors that make everyone vulnerable to burnout; such as economic hardships, school closures, political strife, racial injustices and anxiety over unemployment.
The Stanford study tackled such areas, taking into account how they lead to “Zoom fatigue” in many individuals. In the meantime, the scientists gave tips and strategies on how to neutralize feelings of burnout. Some of the tips mentioned in the research includes turning off one’s camera for a while whenever possible, and rearranging one’s desk to make room for leg-stretching exercises.