Feeling a bit over all the video conferencing? I suspect that like most of the population you have been experiencing seemingly an endless number of:

I can almost guarantee that the result of this is by the end of the week (or day) you are feeling absolutely shattered.

You may be asking yourself why this is? Depending on your predisposition the answer may be straightforward – the plethora of video calls takes energy and those more inquisitive among us may wonder more deeply why?

Why video conferencing takes up your valuable energy

(and turn you into a barely functioning shell of your former self)

Focus / Concentration

Video calls require you to remain more focussed than in face to face conversation. It is harder to process all the information that is being presented to you. You don’t receive the same information you normally would in a conversation which helps you to create meaning and sense. Nonverbal cues: facial expressions, body language, tone and pitch of voice changes that all convey meaning and add weight or levity to the spoken word can be missed.

The power of silence

It turns out silence plays an important role throughout our normal conversations. Silence helps to create natural rhythms and flow in our speech. It also helps create space for others to contribute or interject. Unfortunately, silence in video calls creates a scenario where an additional stressor is added, as we worry the technology has acted up.

With a large group of participants, people will generally mute their microphones which removes the ability for the flow of conversation, creating a slightly unnatural pattern. Although this function is helpful when you have that breakfast meeting and Steve is an exceptionally loud cereal eater or coffee slurper!

Heightened self-awareness

Looking at ourselves for a long period of time in the video calls means we are also looking at how we are interacting and how we are behaving. We are can end up acting like we are on stage giving a performance – we want to present as happier and fuller of life than we may actually feel, portraying an enhanced version of ourselves.

It’s a crazy time!

What is going on right now has not been experienced ever before. This by itself is taxing both physically and psychologically! Even in just a physical space context, there is not the differentiation between the different parts of us. Work, family and friends are all occurring in the same space and its draining!

Add in all the uncertainty and worry and it all comes probably as no surprise you’re feeling a bit worn out!

It’s easy to see why we all are feeling a little bit drained by the experience.

It’s interesting to consider the return to normal and our workplaces (maintaining social distancing and hygiene measures, of course!). How will this change impact us as lockdown measures decrease?

The return to physical workplaces and human interaction with those outside your bubble can in itself result in feelings of fatigue and tiredness.

There has been increased interest in anxiety about life after lockdown by mental health experts.

Lockdown rules and regulations have meant that we have all had to adjust to and become one with our bubble. It can become hard and anxiety-provoking to reintegrate back into the new-old way of being.

Re-peopling again does and will take some adjusting to, and some repetition to get back into that flow. There is also the additional cognitive load of working out social distancing on the fly and even refraining from shaking hands takes some conscious effort.

Coming out of lockdown is as with going into lockdown. Take care of your sleep, exercise, and diet. Listen to your body and do the things that you enjoy doing to recharge. Be that going for a walk on the beach, reading a book or gaming, getting back into those good routines is important.

 

These unprecedented times have impacted the ways we work. Inevitably, there have also been impacts on stress levels and how we feel about work. This all has an impact on our workplace cultures. If you’d like to find out more about what you can do to improve your workplace culture, get in touch with me today.