For several months now, we have been forced to work remotely, it has become anchored in our daily lives. And while videoconferencing tools are widely used for meetings with colleagues, many feel tired more quickly, notice a lack of energy, a “fed up”, which intensifies more and more. But where does this fatigue come from?

The discomfort of the unnatural

 
Part of the communication is non-verbal (vocal and bodily). In a face-to-face exchange, we no longer even realize the importance of seeing each other, this is natural. However, in a camera exchange, the brain cannot follow and draws more energy to manage to capture the gaze and follow several screens (as soon as two participants are passed). A video conversation therefore requires more concentration. In question, the inability to rely on the body language of the interlocutors. “Our minds are together but our bodies feel that we are not. This dissonance, which causes people to have conflicting feelings, is exhausting. You cannot naturally relax in the conversation ”*.

It’s also unnatural to feel watched. “I’m a little stressed before I start a videoconference – will anyone notice that I am tired? I absolutely have to look awake and focused! »Sylvie, Marketing manager in ready-to-wear. We no longer dare to move for fear of making noise or being “spotted” and our every move is anticipated to stay within the frame of the screen. ** When this is repeated several times a day or over several weeks, all these video meetings contribute to accumulated fatigue.

Our commitment at ViTi

When creating SquareMeeting, we had the option to include video. After several research and studies on the subject, we decided not to integrate this functionality on the platform. The presence of video accentuates the concern we have with the appearance that we refer back to and the attention we pay to trying to decode the nonverbal of the other when it is decontextualized from a distance. This is so much energy devoted to topics that are unrelated to the very purpose of the exchange. Also, we find that the absence of video allows to gain 20% of concentration. Participants then experience better introspection, listening and concentration: in video, you can always “pretend” to be there. Without video, real attention and listening is the only way to fully follow the conversation.

The absence of video builds confidence and openness. We feel more free to indulge and listen. These elements are essential for a successful Co-Development session.

“For me, I felt a real comfort in being able to tell you about my problem without having to worry about my image on the computer. I was more serene and I felt closer to you through your voice, I felt your listening very strongly “shares Florence, client of a session. Even today, we continue to believe in the virtues of a visual interface without a camera for SquareMeeting, the leading remote co-development platform. However, we do not minimize the importance of the visual to focus attention! The visual engages, contextualizes, and anchors learning in a kinesthetic environment. This is why on SquareMeeting, our features guide and catch the eye in the service of involvement: agenda, timer, talking stick, roles, collective and personal notes, written passages, surveys, sharing of documents, photo of each of the participants and round table.

* https: //www.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/zoom-fatigue-pourquoi-les-discussions-en-visioconference-sont-si-epuisantes-20200423

** https://www.ladn.eu/tech-a-suivre/zoom-fatigue-notre-cerveau/

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