Why is Zoom Fatigue Worse for Women?

Some recent research by Stanford University in the States is showing that zoom fatigue is worse for women than for men. I’d be interested to know more about what might be contributing to this.

Personally, I know that I am working a lot harder emotionally on zoom, in terms of trying to make sure I hear, understand and connect with the person/people in front of me, working harder to read cues from others, and working harder to get myself across. Plus, when others dominate, I am working harder to find the space to bring myself in on zoom. 🤔 I wonder about the extent to which the same things are experienced by men. Because women generally speaking (not always!) have an ability to connect emotionally with others, does this result in more emotional input to counter the distancing effect of Zoom?

I have learnt to carefully manage the amount of Zoom calls I have on any one day. I’m fortunate that I can do this. If you work for an organisation, this is not necessarily feasible, and will be dictated by your organisational culture and your bosses attitude to being online. The fact that Jane Fraser, the chief executive of Citigroup, made a new workplace rule: no video calls on Fridays is music to my ears. It shows an understanding of the need for boundaries in order to manage her employees’ energy levels and fatigue, and a willingness to be responsive.

If you work for a less responsive organisation, you will need to consider what is within your sphere of influence. How can you reduce the amount of time you spend in meetings? Which meetings require your presence, and which ones desire your presence?

And if you find yourself drawing a blank in response to that question, or feeling like you have no influence at all, I invite you to challenge yourself to find at least one area of work where you can influence the amount of time you spend in online meetings. If you find yourself saying that you need to be in all of the meetings you are invited to, here is a question to reflect on:

What does is mean to me to relinquish involvement?

This question can help you to reflect on your drivers for being ‘so involved’, and consider how to redefine the boundaries around your levels of personal involvement.

#womeninleadership #womeninbusiness #womenatwork #genderdynamics #burnout #stress #mentalhealthatwork #mentalhealth #health #anxiety

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