How to fight video fatigue in online meetings

14 April 2021

“Even as more people are logging onto popular video chat platforms to connect with colleagues, family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford researchers have a warning for you: Those video calls are likely tiring you out.” (Stanford University)

As digital sales and online meetings have increased, it is more than time to pay attention to how it affects us.

Stanford University has found 4 reasons why video meetings fatigue humans


1. Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense

When meeting someone in person, it’s not normal to stare at each the whole time. But when being in an online meeting, it feels like the other person is staring at you constantly, which can increase anxiety. Moreover, depending on the screen size, the face of the other person might appear too large for comfort, which can be very exhausting for our brains.

2. Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time

Most online meeting tools show a picture of yourself and what you look like during the meeting. However, it is unnatural to constantly see a live video of yourself, as if you are standing in front of a mirror the whole time. Studies show that people are more critical with themselves, when seeing a reflection of themselves. This can be very stressful.

3. Video chats reduce our usual mobility

During an online meeting with a switched-on camera and a set field of view it is not possible to walk or move around. So, the movement is limited, which is also quite unnatural. Research shows, that people are performing better cognitively when moving around.

4. The cognitive load is much higher

During personal meetings in real life, people can have a normal face-to-face interaction, use and interpret nonverbal communication. People are used to interpreting gestures subconsciously. However, when communicating digitally, it is sometimes difficult to interpret gestures or nonverbal communication. In an offline meeting, you would frequently look around or take notes. But when talking to each other using the video function it is almost interpreted as being rude, when looking to the left or right for a moment, since the other person doesn’t know what is happening in the room.

Give yourself a break, whenever you need it

So, what can we do to prevent sales reps and customers struggling from fatigue when communicating via online meeting? Idiligo has found a solution, which can help to reduce stress and give the participants of the online meeting a break, whenever they want to. Instead of just being able to switch off the camera, which is a standard functionality already, Idiligo has added the possibility, to entirely fold away the video area.

Both the host and the participant can decide whether they want to see the video area or not. So, each party can give himself a break, whenever he wants to or needs it. Moreover, this makes it easy to integrate Idiligo in other online meeting tools using the share screen function, since only the content of the sales process is presented, when the video area is folded away.