Nowadays, I am entering a lot of training through Zoom. During the day, I give my consultancy and workshops on zoom. In the evening, I realize that I am more tired than usual. Especially after closing the video, I may be more tired than usual. So I started to investigate why.
More focus needed
In fact, video conferencing requires more focus than face-to-face meeting. While on camera, you are being watched and performing on one hand, which is considered a major stress factor and raises cortisol in some of us.
Nonverbal cues exhaust us
Since we are not side by side, it becomes more difficult for us to be able to solve the body language. When video comes in, lots of clues like silence, facial expressions, delays, pitch and tone come into play. It takes a lot of energy to pay attention to all the non-verbal clues and rumors. Meanwhile, many questions come to mind:
- Why did she/he stop talking?
- Was that a bad thing I said?
- Is my screen frozen?
- Or is his/her screen frozen?
We are worried about technology. Silence is easier to tolerate when faced. Research shows that short delays of up to 1.2 seconds perceive the person in front of people as less friendly or less focused.
In a recent article by the BBC, Gianpiero Petriglieri, an associate professor of sustainable learning and development at work, said:
Although our bodies feel that they are not together, our minds are together. Having these conflicting feelings is very tiring.
So if you feel tired of zoom, you’re not alone. In addition to the extra stressors of videoconferencing, quarantine, disease, home work, new normal – all are fed more cortisol.
- Make more calls without images to get rid of visual performance.
- Watch out for distractions when there are pauses or silences.
- Take deep breaths before or while others speak.
- Ask yourself if a zoom call is really required.
- Take frequent breaks between calls.
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“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.”
― Jada Pinkett Smith