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ODU researchers find 3 ways to combat 'Zoom fatigue'

Concentrated african businesswoman working late at night with computer
Posted at 2:49 PM, Mar 30, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - If you're worn out from all the Zoom meetings at work, you're not alone.

That's why researchers at Old Dominion University decided to look into what causes videoconference meetings to be so draining for some people.

Assistant Professors of Management Andrew Bennett, Emily Campion and Sheila Keener co-authored an article on the topic with researchers from Ohio State University.

It was recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Bennett tells News 3 the results were surprising, in terms of both what they did and didn't find.

"We expected that longer meetings would have an impact on how fatigued people were and that did not," Bennet said. "We were also very surprised that being on video wasn't really the driver of what was causing people to be more fatigued. We certainly thought people would feel like they had to be more on or present themselves a little bit differently, or maybe they were just watching themselves when they were on video more. We didn't find that, either."

Here are the three things they found do have an impact:

  • Time of day - They found meetings near the end of a shift are draining. One of the best times to hold a videoconference seemed to be early afternoon right after lunch.
  • Participants should be on mute when not talking - Bennett says this can help by reducing distractions and makes people less anxious.
  • Create a sense of belonging - They found employees were less fatigued if they felt they were connected to the group. Bennett says giving people a chance to chat about non-work related things can help.

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