How is the Hybrid Workplace Really Working?

 As we navigate the hybrid work landscape, it's important to remain cautious of the long-term effects of excessive video conferencing. In his book, Can You Hear Me?, author Nick Morgan identifies the phenomenon of "Zoom fatigue," which stems from a lack of proprioception when using such software. Proprioception is an often-overlooked sense that helps us understand where we are in space and where others are, allowing us to avoid collisions. On video calls, the human brain cannot locate and track others, causing low-level stress and fatigue.

Another issue is the 3-millisecond lag between audio and video that causes a subtle "out-of-sync" feeling, which can downgrade our impressions of the other person and the meeting. However, the most significant concern comes from recent research suggesting that in-person communication is more effective as our brain rhythms link up, while video communication suffers from a significant disparity.

To mitigate these issues, it's crucial to supplement virtual meetings with in-person sessions to re-establish relationships that naturally degrade over time. We should also monitor our virtual relationships and prioritize those that require in-person interactions, allowing for cross-fertilization and psychic recovery opportunities. After a day full of video meetings, it's also essential to take a break to allow yourself rest.

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