This Study Makes a Strong Case to Go Cameras-Off for All Zoom Meetings

We get it, you probably just rolled out of bed and into a Zoom meeting with your video (and possibly mic) off, but at least you made it right? A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests doing so may be better for your productivity throughout the day.

Over the course of four weeks, researchers documented 103 participants throughout 1,400 video meeting observations, finding that the participants were more fatigued after a camera-on virtual meeting compared to having cameras off.

This research also noted that the effect was even stronger for women than it was for men.

What does that mean for employees in the pandemic? The study suggests that cameras-on meetings may not be your best bet if you want to perform at your best throughout the day by feeling less sleepy.

“Zoom fatigue” has become somewhat of a buzzphrase throughout the era of remote work and several studies confirm that it’s very much a real thing.

In a 2020 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology monitoring 55 employees in various fields, only roughly 7% of participants didn’t report videoconference fatigue, leaving 93% down and out about frequent video calling to make up for the lack of in-person face-to-face meetings. One thing to note is that this study was conducted relatively early in the pandemic, prior to Zoom calls becoming the new norm.

Whether this means cameras-off meetings can become more widespread, or even an argument to return to the office, managers should take note.

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