Is ‘Zoom Anxiety’ the New ‘Zoom Fatigue’?

A vast majority of remote workers are reporting ‘Zoom Anxiety’ as video calls have become a key part of daily life for many.


Zoom Burnout

After a year of remote working and Zoom meetings, the novelty has worn off for many, giving rise to burnout. With Zoom calls an ever-present part of most people’s daily lives, a whopping 73% of people have suffered from Zoom Anxiety over the last 12 months. Google searches for Zoom Anxiety increased by 180% between March and December 2020. It has been long-documented that video calls cause more exhaustion than telephone calls, but it seems that in 76% of people, they cause more anxiety too.


Triggers of Zoom Anxiety

To find the biggest causes of Zoom Anxiety, presentation design agency Buffalo 7 surveyed 2066 people who work from home to reveal the biggest triggers.

It seems that the anxiety is often caused by many technical and practical issues. A vast majority (83%) reported Zoom Anxiety as a result of having tech or audio problems and not knowing how to fix them.

There was an overwhelming amount of anxiety caused by lack of interpersonal cues with 67% saying that were anxious about being able to read body language and 56% feeling like they are being unheard on the call.

Other issues were on a more superficial level with 41% worried about their appearance and 34% worried about an unprofessional looking background.


Combating Zoom Anxiety

Citi group are launching ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ as a way to help the bank’s burned out employees cope with a stress a year into the pandemic.

Whilst tools like Zoom, Teams and Hangouts have been vital in keeping organisations connected throughout the pandemic, the widespread adoption of video calling has brought its own set of challenges.

Many people feel unnatural and awkward when having to speak on camera, and for some, the pressure of having to perform so frequently on work video calls has lead to the rise of ‘Zoom anxiety’ – a physical feeling of panic when called upon to talk on video.

James Robinson, Marketing Manager at Buffalo 7, said:

“Of course, 2020 wasn’t short on anxiety, and we’ve all had a lot to deal with. However, with a huge 73% of respondents saying they’ve struggled with Zoom anxiety at some point over the past 12 months, it’s clear that for many video calls bring with them their own set of challenges.

“Everyone is struggling this year, and if you do suffer from Zoom Anxiety, look to discuss your problems with your boss, or follow the steps we’ve set out. For example, some of these issues come down to confidence – so if you are struggling with tech, could you put aside some time beforehand to learn about common problems, so you’re not caught out when they happen on calls?

“We’re all under a lot of stress recently, and the worst thing you can do for yourself and for your colleagues is add extra pressure on yourself. Always remember – you’re doing great!”