Since the pandemic has forced people and companies all over the world to switch to remote work, video conferencing has become an inevitable part of daily life. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual interactions across the board. It can thus be assumed that such a significant change in the way we interact would have some negative effects on the human psyche.
The non-verbal aspects of human interaction, such as body language, eye contact, facial expressions, social cues, etc., are crucial but cannot be fully conveyed over a video conversation. As a result, the brain needs to work twice as hard to process routine daily interactions, which eventually results in burnout, exhaustion, and a lack of productivity at the end of the day.
Zoom fatigue has become so widespread since the pandemic that studies by the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University (https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/) have researched the psychological effects of videoconferencing on the wellbeing of people.
These studies have concluded that there are four major drivers of the so-called ‘Zoom Fatigue’:
- Permanent intimate eye contact between participants
- Constantly seeing a reflection of yourself from your webcam
- Participants have limited mobility during calls
- Exaggerated non-verbal communication
These effects are very concerning as so many desk workers have had to incorporate several hours of back-to-back video conferencing on a daily basis into their workdays.
In hopes of increasing the quality of the video conferencing experience, many have tried various tricks to combat the fatigue they feel, such as by changing schedules of meetings, setting up a dedicated work space at home, upgrading their equipment with high-def video cameras, extra lighting and microphones etc., so that they can experience crisper, brighter and more advanced and high-quality conferences.
Do these measures shield users from the effects identified by Stanford researchers? And will it help to get things done efficiently?
Considering the drawbacks of prolonged virtual interactions, is it really a good idea to introduce video calls to customer service?
-The answer is: Yes! If you avoid the design flaws of classic conferencing tools!
So, what role does BlinkIn play in this scenario?