Tags: Accessibility and Inclusivity, Artificial Intelligence, Audio Intelligence, Collaboration Solutions, Collaboration Tools, Intelligent Meeting Summaries, Real-Time Closed Captioning, Webex Assistant, Webex Desk Series, Webex Devices
Meeting fatigue is real. And, in the era of COVID, “meeting” almost certainly means video conferencing. Stanford University researchers thought the problem was pervasive enough that they conducted a study to examine why too much video conferencing can exhaust the mind and body in what they say is commonly known as “Zoom fatigue” – although the researchers indicated this applies to all videoconferencing platforms. They arrived at four key factors that contribute to fatigue and even devised a way to measure it with the “Zoom Exhaustion & Fatigue” (ZEF) scale:
1) Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense
2) Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing
3) Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility
4) Higher cognitive load is much higher in video chats
While researchers gave some useful tips to counteract these problems, they are only short-term fixes to a problem that is endemic to the current era.
Some companies, including at Cisco where I work, are implementing meeting-free days to minimize burn-out. But giving people a break from meetings and then going right back to Zoom fatigue the next day is also not the long-term answer.
The answer is using video conferencing technology to let people meet smarter so they can have fewer meetings on a REGULAR basis.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but over the past year, Webex has been working on ways to help people spend less time in meetings yet be more productive. Some of these innovations include:
Out of curiosity, I took the ZEF survey just to see how I would score. And not surprisingly, it was very low: I scored in the 8th percentile in Zoom fatigue, which means about 92% of people have more fatigue after videoconferencing than I do. I attribute that to three things:
My score on the ZEF scale: