At the start of COVID-19, Zoom became our window to the outside world. Video calls felt like the one way we could communicate with coworkers and friends, but a year later we’ve come to loathe the dreaded Zoom call – and for valid reasons. Stanford researchers have found what we’ve all been arguing the past few months: video calls are exhausting, literally. Zoom calls have been shown to fatigue us for a number of reasons, the overarching theory being that humans are not meant to communicate in this fashion.
It’s Not You, It’s Zoom:
Creepy Eye Contact
Counter to intuition, Zoom requires a much more intense style of communicating than traditional meetings. During in-person meetings, employees are often taking notes or glancing around the room, only making eye contact with the speaker on occasion. On Zoom calls, we have nowhere to look except directly into the eyeballs of the speaker.
For people with social anxiety, public speaking on Zoom can be even more stressful than it is in person; everyone is looking directly at you, and you can see their reactions up-close as they do so.
Staring at Ourselves
On a similar note, it’s also pretty exhausting to look at yourself for hours on end. In almost no other circumstance is one required to collaborate, make decisions, and give feedback while looking at their facial expressions in a mirror – but we take that as a given for video calls. Being constantly aware of ourselves, and the fact that others are aware of us, is extremely tiring.
Lack of Mobility
Another pitfall of Zoom is that it’s hard to move around during these calls. Many people think better when they’re in motion, and sitting at a desk isn’t always the best way for those people to take a meeting.
Communicating via video requires a different set of skills than communicating in person. For many, nonverbal communication such as gestures and facial expressions happens without any conscious effort. On Zoom, we have to adjust our nonverbal communication so people can see it in a two-inch window on their laptops.
Cut Down On Zoom Meetings With Proofing Software
Zoom meetings put us in a state of tension we were never intended to be in for extended periods. Unfortunately, we can’t change this fact, and we can’t make Zoom less tiring. However, by opting to use proofing software, we can negate the need for many of these calls altogether.
On Ashore, reviewers are placed in a situation where they’re inherently made to point at something and talk about it. This forced perspective makes it pretty difficult to give vague feedback; at each stage in the proofing process, approvers are clear on what exactly they are reviewing. By weaving perspective into the workflow, creatives on Ashore don’t need to schedule Zoom meetings to figure out what the feedback really means – they already know.
To further clarify feedback, reviewers can attach their comments directly to where they see a problem on the proof. This provides a way for creatives to see where changes need to be made, without having to ask. Just as forced perspective can cut down on video meetings by clarifying feedback, so can contextual commenting.
Ashore provides clarity around feedback for both the designer and their client. By getting rid of ambiguous comments and guiding perspectives, creatives can ditch the lengthy Zoom calls of our past, and rest assured that the feedback they receive can be taken at face value. Ready to take charge of your proofing process and say farewell to excessive Zoom meetings? Sign up for your 14-day free trial today, and give Ashore a whirl!
If you’d like to learn more about Zoom Fatigue, check out this article published by Stanford.