How Can Animation Mitigate Zoom Fatigue

Zoom fatigue is a phenomenon that surfaced during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. If remote working is to become the “new normal,” companies need to find solutions that helps employees stay alert and focused.

The principal cause of zoom fatigue is the amount of cognitive energy that is expended when consistently using virtual platforms expands. Video calls require more focus and there are fewer opportunities to give your brain a breather.

In addition, attendees are constantly in a sedentary position staring into a screen intently trying to absorb information. Teleconferencing is even more draining if there is a bad connection and you have to listen harder to what is being said.

Audio has been proposed as a leading cause of zoom fatigue. Verbal communication in a virtual environment can be confusing when there are multiple participants and the millisecond delay is confusing for the brain to comprehend sound with body language.

“Individual voices are separated by distance and appear at specific points around the meeting table. This spatial presentation makes it fairly easy and natural for us to identify and decipher who is speaking. However, when it comes to virtual voices – regardless of the number of participants on a call – all the voices come from the same loudspeaker and at the same distance from the listener. This artificial soundscape creates a muddied, unclear and unnatural listening experience.” ~ Forbes

There are, of course, other distractions. Employees that are not directly involved in meetings are browsing the internet and may even have one eye on their work. Meetings can hamper productivity.

Employees that don’t have a private space at home, will also be distracted by other members of the household. It’s not unusual for cats to suddenly appear on the desk, dogs to bark or children to run enthusiastically through the living room during a mad half-hour.

5 blocks of people on a zoom conference call

Alleviating Zoom Fatigue

Studies and surveys conducted during the pandemic hinted at the fact that companies have too many unnecessary meetings. It’s been said in offices for years. Holding meetings online has underscored the issue of “pointless meetings”.

“Another 42% participating in video calls say they dial in and contribute nothing. Video conference fosters a false sense of completion, as 27% of employees found the virtual meetings to be “the biggest communication barrier” in their work.” ~ Tech Republic

Not all meetings need to be live. Meetings that involve brainstorming and strategy are obviously more dynamic when you’re engaging with colleagues. Meetings that only have a few participants can be productive.

Team meetings and department meetings, on the other hand, have multiple attendees but very few participants. When the message you need to communicate is important, animation can provide a solution.

Animation Enhances Communication

We’ve previously written how animation can liven up internal comms. When you’re watching an explainer video, training tool or engaging in gamification, the mind is more alert and active. The human brain absorbs more information through visuals.

Animated characters also evoke emotions. But more than that; cartoons stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain.

Neuroscientists have discovered a core psychological component of fatigue boils down to a tradeoff between rewards and cost. In rewarding moments, subconscious programs prompt the brain to release dopamine.

Dopamine increases alertness, energy and motivation. Without dopamine, the body experiences the opposite reaction – fatigue.

Using cartoon characters appeals to emotional values and triggers dopamine secretion. Look how many advertisers use animated characters to connect with their audience; especially companies that have a “hard-sell” like insurance.

Animated video makes rigid and boring topics fun and engaging. Whilst information is the core component of any communication, cartoons or animated features enhance how a message is expressed.

The eLearning industry has adopted animated videos to help engage students. Businesses can adopt a similar approach by using animation or impactful visuals rather than static PowerPoint presentations.

5 square emojis displaying emotions from angry to sad, normal, happy and laughing

New Solutions Cannot Be Normal 

Augmented reality (AR) has been the go-to solution to add more colour to zoom videos. Tech companies introduced backgrounds to give the impression you were on a beach rather than your kitchen.

Using AR features on social platforms like Facebook to turn yourself into a clown or fairy can help to lift the mood, but funny bunnies are not going to impress clients.

Animating presentations, on the other hand, are an effective and engaging way to communicate information in a memorable way. Animated video could be the difference between landing a lucrative contract and missing out.

The new normal requires creative solutions that resolve modern problems such as zoom fatigue and engaging work from home employees. Animation is a solution that answers all the issues raised by experts.

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If you are unfamiliar with the animation production process, this blog post What to expect when you work on a project with Sliced Bread might serve to help you, it provides a complete guide on how we typically approach our projects, from concept to final delivery. It also provides information on how we structure our fees and plan the production schedule.

If you would like to know more about how engaging and immersive animation can help your marketing communications? Drop us an email at info@sbanimation.com

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