Ok, but coffee first.

For many people, working from home now means spending a lot of time on video calls or virtual meetings. Whether it’s a business meeting, online class, or a family or social gathering, we are all spending more time on video calls, which can be physically and mentally draining. “Zoom Fatigue” is the phenomenon that describes the exhaustion we feel after too many video meetings. While the condition is named after the Zoom app due to its popularity, it’s important to note that Zoom Fatigue applies to all video chat apps such as Google Meet, Skype, Facetime, Microsoft Teams or HouseParty, among others.

Psychologists say several factors lead to this type of fatigue. Firstly, there are sound issues, glitches and screen freezes to contend with. The technological hiccups that happen so frequently during virtual meetings can all disrupt our ability to interpret messages and add to our unease. In addition, it takes more effort to have conversations through video calls than it does in real life, as it requires more mental processing than face-to-face interactions. We have to work harder to process non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice and body language. This additional focus is very energy intensive and could explain this feeling of fatigue.

Increased self-awareness is another reason. We get conscious of how we look and behave in front of the camera when we know everyone on the call is looking at us. We feel like we always need to be “on” and responsive. This can become exhausting and stressful over time.

So maybe just not have the video on during every meeting. And have more time for coffee in the morning!