Yesterday, I took part in an Economist magazine webinar discussing the "Future of Work". It was an interesting conversation and surprisingly upbeat. A good portion of the conversation was about Zoom, it benefits and short comings. Here are two interesting takeaways from that conversation.

Sitting too close

We sit too close to our monitors and cameras on video conference calls. Our faces fill up the entire screen. In an actual face-to-face meeting this would be the equivalent of  being 50cm (~1.5 feet) away from the other person. Subconsciously we equate interactions at this distance as aggressive or intimate (fighting or loving). Over the course of a video conference call our brains are spending cognitive cycles trying to process this unusual spatial interaction leading to one of the causes of "Zoom fatigue", the experience of being drained and exhausted after a video conference.

The fix

Move back from your camera. Frame yourself such that you appear to others as if you were sitting across from them at a conference table.

Scheduling back to back video conferences

We schedule meetings one after the other bouncing from one video conference call to another. This gives us no time to decompress between calls.

The fix

Schedule your video conference calls to end 5 minutes before the hour or half hour. Give yourself and your team time to not be on a video conference call.