As the pandemic started, more and more people are logging onto popular video chat platforms such as Zoom to connect with their colleagues, friends, and family. But It is not only about Zoom. All of the popular video chat platforms come with several design flaws that are exhausting your brain and body.
The recent boom in video conferencing has generated several mental and psychological consequences as we spend countless hours on the associated platforms. Now, the question is, how can we overcome the upshots? Is there a solution to at least reduce the consequences? In this article, we are going to find out about the exact concerns in this regard, and see how virtual meeting spaces can help us.
Have you ever found yourself completely drained after you leave a long Zoom meeting? If so, you are not alone. Countless people are suffering from Zoom fatigue. It generally refers to the exhaustion people feel after any kind of video call or video conference.
Recent research from Stanford University proves that Zoom fatigue is real. The study shows that there are four main reasons for this negative phenomenon:
Excessive Amounts of Eye Contact: Both the amount of eye contact, as well as the size of faces on screens, are unnatural in video chats.
Continuously Seeing Yourself: Most video platforms show a square of your face on camera all the time. It is like someone is following you with a mirror everywhere.
The Lack of Usual Mobility: In-person and audio conversations allow people to walk and move, but in video conferencing, you have to stay in the same spot.
Much Higher Cognitive Load: In natural interactions, you can use and interpret nonverbal cues and gestures subconsciously to send and receive signals. However, in video chats, we need to work harder to do so.
Zoom fatigue can have several signs. You may end up having difficulty concentrating on your tasks, allocating less amount of time to your loved ones, frustration, irritability with co-workers, and physical issues such as muscle tension, pain, and insomnia.
In the meantime, more and more screen time is actually the last thing we need. Studies show that screen time has increased to an average of 40 percent of our waking hours during the pandemic. That is what makes Zoom fatigue a real concern these days.
“The digitalization of in-real-life [IRL] experiences is what a lot of companies rushed to do when the pandemic struck. Their thinking was: If we did it in person, let’s do it on Zoom.” – Rahaf Harfoush, digital anthropologist, director of Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture, and adjunct professor at Sciences Po in Paris
For all of these issues, there must be a solution. Now, we are going to talk about how virtual meeting spaces and tools are going to help us in this regard.
Virtual meeting spaces like Cubo are indeed spaces where you can effectively meet, interact, and collaborate with your team members from everywhere. They provide you with optimal virtual offices to help you work remotely and at the same time get rid of the sense of isolation in your remote location.
The first noticeable difference you can spot in virtual meeting spaces is the 2D office the platform provides you with. It is actually like your real office. You can use a simple small portrait picture to show yourself in the office, instead of being continuously on the camera and seeing many faces at the same time. Some virtual meeting spaces even enable you to choose avatars for your character; imagine you are a Pikachu trying to build a conversation with your colleagues who have other avatars.
With arrow keys, you can navigate in the office and meet different co-workers. As you move around, you can easily enter and leave a conversation. A small video of whoever you are talking to appears above the main screen once you start your conversation, either one by one or in a meeting.
Another lovely feature in some virtual meeting spaces is the ability to play games while working. It can be a simple approach to relieve your stress and refresh your mind, instead of constantly having eye contact with your co-workers or seeing yourself forever, just like how it is in real life. According to research by HR analysts Fosway, 97 percent of training now takes place online, and big companies such as insurers Hiscox and the restaurant chain Leon are using gamified training approaches.
Some virtual spaces have even made it possible for users to gamify everything. There are no live videos involved, no PowerPoint and slides; everything is just genuine and playful interactions. Users can easily use virtual pens to annotate, use 3D objects, even take a taxi together and laugh, etc. These spaces have helped workers with social isolation as there is no one-way flow of information like videos in Zoom-like services.
Another great feature of virtual meeting spaces like Cubo is that you can always see an instant status of your team in the office to find out if they are available, in a conversation, attending a group meeting, having breaks in spaces like social lounges, etc.
Everything in virtual meeting spaces has been designed to resemble the real world as much as possible. More than one person can talk at the same time, while it is not possible on some other video platforms.
If you move your character farther away from others, their voice gets quieter but you can still catch a bit of it, just as in the real world. You can freely go toward other people, sit at a table with people, initiate a private chat with your colleagues, and even simply walk out of a conversation. It is more natural than ever.
In virtual meeting spaces, people can easily start a conversation or chat without having a specific reason or a sort of “meeting subject” for it. However, almost all video chatting software like Zoom requires a reason for the conversation.
What’s more, the main focus of the conversations is not on the videos; small screens of people appear when you try to talk to them, instead of their videos dominating the whole page. This helps you to see only one person at a time as they talk, instead of seeing multiple faces at once. This is also like real-world conversations.
With the emergence of the pandemic, the in-person events and conferencing industry is losing its dominance significantly. This industry in the UK was worth £42.3bn in 2018 (£800bn, globally) and the industry wants to get back some of that revenue. Only six virtual platforms were active at the beginning of the pandemic, while there are over a hundred of them.
The truth is that they are just adding to our cognitive load. With all the simplifications and in-real-life experiences that virtual meeting spaces are providing, we are experiencing less cognitive load as we collaborate with team members.
Video conferencing platforms most of the time come with numerous technical glitches criticized by attendees who cannot log on, speakers who have no audiences, and exhibitors who paid for only glitches and issues. Now, virtual meeting spaces like Cubo are there to resolve these issues and help you get rid of the glitches, by providing a simple, easy-to-navigate platform that is just like playing gamified interactions.
Cubo virtual meeting space helps you get rid of Zoom fatigue to a high extent by providing you with countless amazing features. It helps you benefit from an optimal virtual office where you can meet and interact with your teammates and see their online status. You can also enjoy instant and spontaneous conversations to quickly communicate with your colleagues.
It is easy to create a group meeting by simply dragging other members’ portraits into the room. Then, you can use voice audio, videos, text messages, file sharing, and other communicative features to quickly collaborate with others. Also, you can easily “listen in” meetings and find the required information with one click.
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