When people began to realize they’d be working from home, they made some changes, quickly. One of those changes was downloading the Zoom App. As early on in the pandemic as April 1 of 2020, the company was able to report a 300 percent increase in daily usage. It seemed like in a matter of weeks everything moved to the platform. Workout classes, college classes, doctor consultations, happy hours — all of those things are now happening on Zoom.
When the switch to living virtually happened, you may have felt excited, thinking about all the time you could now spend at home and all of the nuisances of office life that you could avoid. No chit chat with that one coworker you can’t stand. No obligatory birthday parties in the break room interrupting your workday three times a week. No pesky memos about refilling the ink cartridge. You may have thought this change would leave you feeling more energized. Now, you might have realized something else: you actually feel more fatigued than you did when you went into an office. If that’s the case, virtual meetings may have something to do with it. Even though we can literally take them from our bed, that doesn’t mean they’re restful. Here are the real reasons Zoom fatigue happens.
The pressure to be on in a limited time frame
Think about what happens when you meet anyone in person for really anything. A work meeting, a social catchup, a tutoring session — there are the pleasantries involved. There’s an understanding that, sometimes, there will be dead air. The silence isn’t really uncomfortable. But the moment those interactions move to the virtual platform, it becomes quite formal. The meeting starts promptly at 2pm. That’s when you’re allowed into the meeting. And then there is this pressure to accomplish what you came to accomplish, in that little time frame, marked on your Google calendar for this Zoom meeting. You feel you must be alert, on, and performing at peak capacity, every minute of a Zoom meeting, in a way you don’t feel in IRL meetings.