Video conferencing vendors rush to fix meeting fatigue

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Video conferencing vendors tackle video fatigue with tools to mitigate the stress caused by the overuse of their products. Experts advise using multiple means of communication.

Video conferencing soared during the pandemic, when in-office meetings weren’t possible. Zoom, Microsoft and other tech vendors benefited tremendously from the sudden shift, as usage of their online video platforms grew by triple digits.

Unfortunately, the welcomed solution to an immediate problem gave birth to a new tech-related phenomenon: video fatigue. Companies discovered that simply transferring what would have been in-person meetings to the virtual world exhausted employees.

A survey of office workers from staffing firm Robert Half found that 44% of respondents had experienced video conference fatigue since the pandemic began. Even Zoom CEO Eric Yuan admitted earlier this year to feeling tired after a series of video meetings.

The unexpected consequences from the overuse of their technologies sent vendors scrambling to temper the meteoric use of their platforms that burned out employees and reduced their productivity. The companies have introduced features to encourage breaks, make video conferencing more engaging and lessen the pressure to attend every meeting.

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, found that not addressing the problem would make video meetings harder on a company’s employees than in-person meetings.

“Over time, it is just more taxing than having casual, face-to-face interactions,” said Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science Center.

Microsoft, Zoom and other vendors have tackled video fatigue by preventing over-scheduling and the feeling of disconnection their technology can cause.

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