The global coronavirus pandemic has caused many organisations and companies to work from home, turning instead to virtual platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams to hold meetings and share ideas. I’ve been working from home since March when lockdown was first introduced and although I feel connected with my team (we have two catch up calls a day), why do I feel so much more tired than I did when I was going into the office?
It turns out, video calling fatigue is a real thing. According to the research carried out by the BBC, being on a video call takes up way more energy than a face-to-face meeting. There’s also no way to pick up on body language and because you’re sat there, with everyone looking at you intently, there’s nowhere to hide if you don’t seem emotionally invested or interested in what the meeting content is about.
So if you’re putting more energy and thought into one meeting, and you’re having several meetings a day, it is no wonder that you’re starting to feel it before you have even brushed your teeth and climbed into bed.
There’s also the added anxiety of being distracted, especially if you’re on an important call; the kids coming running in, or the dog starts barking, the dishwasher implodes and leaves water all over the kitchen. The pain is real. So if you’re constantly on edge about your surroundings, then a) you can’t focus on what you’re doing and b) you’re using so much energy to try and force yourself into focusing on what is being said. Or, in the case of one of my colleagues, when the whole team couldn’t focus after her mum walked into the room wearing only a towel.
As a communications team, lockdown has, however, taught us that we can really work from anywhere; we are resilient and creative and a force to be reckoned with. Some of our campaigns have been put on hold, but we’ve also launched some brand new campaigns that are doing really well. I miss the buzz of the office though, and the creative rapport that you just can’t get over Microsoft Teams; the back and forth of ideas until you land on the jackpot. In other news, I’ve never slept so well so perhaps Teams calls are the future; they certainly are for my PR team.