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how to master the new normal

Virtual Leadership Development: how to master the new normal

28 EpisodesProduced by Philip Botha, Bernhard ZimmermannWebsite

In the series we share our experience and expertise as coaches and facilitators, focusing on leadership and leadership development in virtual or online contexts. We explore not only the inherent challenges we face in these environments but importantly, how to address these challenges yourself. Wheth… read more


24 How to deal with Zoom Fatigue part 1

Do you experience Zoom Fatigue? 

How does Zoom Fatigue impact on your own virtual meetings?

Zoom Fatigue can be described as the sense of being completely exhausted after a series of online meetings. This is no urban legend. Stanford University actually did two research studies on the subject (see links below).

In this episode we focus on the first two causes.

1st cause: during an online meeting, we have a continuously focus on one screen containing a matrix of video panels. In a normal room setting, our gaze would drift around the table, or the room, from speaker to speaker. In this setting however, we have only one view with a dramatic increase in (attempted) eye contact.

Researchers found that, very often the relative size we see people at in their individual panels is quite close up, which in normal life would put them within our personal space. Normally they say, we only experience this when mating or in conflict. In a business setting, we then subconsciously experience stress as if we were in a conflict situation, adding to our overall mental fatigue.

In our discussion, we differ from the researchers on how to address the issues, as their recommendation - from our point of view - would lead to less connection and engagement during a virtual meeting.

2nd cause: in a series of online meetings, we are stuck in the same position for a prolonged period of time and our movement is limited in a way that is not natural for us. Studies long before the pandemic show that, the average sitting posture in an office chair limits the blood circulation and therefore also the oxygen supply to the brain. This depletes our energy faster and restricts our cognitive capacity and capability.

So if you groan inwardly when you are next invited to yet another virtual meeting, think about it, that it's not just important to make meetings more energising and engaging, but also about reducing the factors that actively induce Zoom Fatigue.

Listen to our podcast to hear more about this and also to hear our suggestions of how to minimise these in meetings.

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