Do days seem to be more draining now than before remote work and distance learning became commonplace? If you feel this way, you’re not alone. In fact, the vast majority of people working remotely would agree that their energy levels are dropping by the day. The problem is that this sluggishness is creeping up on everyone despite the absence of rush-hour commutes, in-person meetings, and random drop-ins by colleagues to discuss another small project to put on your plate. So why is everyone so tired now, and what can we do to prevent it?
Much of what makes us tired can be attributed to the unedited sound of digitally transferred voices during video calls. A standard microphone (whether a laptop’s built-in mic or one attached to a set of headphones) transforms voices, which is why you can spend hours upon hours listening to music and podcasts but feel exhausted after a single video call. Raw sound transferred over the internet is taxing on our ears, and unless everyone starts using professional-grade equipment it will remain an issue we just have to deal with.
Additionally, much more focus is required during video calls in order to absorb information. Physical gestures, posture, and even a sense of ritualism are all lost when in-person meetings disappear. Without the ability to read body language and non-verbal clues, all attention shifts to the words themselves, making sure you hear and understand everything the second it’s said, and maintaining constant eye contact for the duration of the call. That, combined with the physical strain of listening to unedited audio, is why remote learning and remote working days seem so much more exhausting than a traditional work day.
Now the question is how to combat Zoom fatigue.