Women suffer most from Zoom fatigue say researchers

Women suffer most from Zoom fatigue say researchers
Women suffer the most from videocall exhaustion according to a large-scale study by Stanford University researchers who think the self-view display could be to blame.

The phenomenon of feeling exhausted after hours of video calls, often dubbed Zoom fatigue, has increased markedly during the pandemic, with millions relying on video communications for work and socialising.

Now Stanford researchers says that this fatigue is greater for women with one in seven women (38%) feeling “very” to “extremely fatigued” after calls, compared to one in twenty (5.5%) men.

For the study, researchers surveyed 10,322 participants in February and March using a specially designed “Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue Scale”.

Jeffrey Hancock is professor of communication in the School of Humanities and Sciences and co-author of the new study released April 13 on the Social Science Research Network.

He said: “We’ve all heard stories about Zoom fatigue and anecdotal evidence that women are affected more, but now we have quantitative data that Zoom fatigue is worse for women, and more importantly, we know why.”

The researchers discovered the feelings of fatigue were overwhelmingly driven by “self-focused attention” triggered by the self-view in video conferencing.

Patterns of women experiencing more severe burnout from videocalls were replicated across multiple studies, with Hancock describing it as “a really consistent finding”.

Women also seemed to bear the brunt of other negative effects of conferencing including feelings of being physically trapped by having to stay within the field of view of the camera and being more likely than men to have to endure longer meetings with less breaks.

Whilst the difference of experience and feeling between men and woman were most marked; age, personality type and race also appeared to play a role in the Zoom fatigue phenomenon.

Source: Stanford University

Picture credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com

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