The pandemic has seen many of us start to suffer from “Zoom Fatigue.” According to Stanford News, Zoom fatigue comes from spending several hours a day on conferencing applications. Yet, in the corporate world, we can’t avoid meetings. They are a core part of how today’s businesses function. Employers have been scrambling to find a way to reduce or prevent Zoom fatigue. They need their employees alert and on the ball. The solution that has come to their rescue is something known as virtual meeting spaces.
What is a Virtual Meeting Space?
In a nutshell, a virtual meeting space is something like a corporate chat room. The earliest versions of these meeting spaces hearken back to the early days of retro video game graphics. Instead of your avatar trying to best Ganon, they’re instead tasked with heading to an office. You get to control the character as they interact with coworkers. Virtual meeting spaces may seem more like fun than an actual meeting. However, the resemblance to an early-90s hangout room is not accidental. These spaces were designed to make users feel welcome and at home. More importantly, they’re built to avoid the issues that face-to-face video conferencing introduces.
Fatigue Through Psychological Connection
National Geographic mentions that Zoom meetings take a significant toll on a person’s mental capacity. The fatigue we feel comes from the extra processing we need to do during these calls. No matter how good our connections are, Zoom meetings are still two-dimensional images with delayed sound and sometimes video glitches. It’s a solution, but hardly an elegant one. In larger meeting groups, the issue of talking over another person arises. Virtual meeting spaces are text-based chats, meaning that there’s no chance of talking over someone else. Additionally, if necessary, you can scroll back through messages.
A Different Paradigm to Video Conferencing
There’s no shortage of video conferencing applications. Zoom is by far the leader here, but they’re not the only one. From Microsoft Teams to small startups dedicated to providing software as a service, there are options for every business. The biggest issue here is that they all try to offer the same thing. While we’re all waiting for the ability to use the best corporate meeting spaces again, we’re settling for video conferencing and the fatigue that comes with it. But we don’t have to. Virtual meeting spaces won’t work for every corporate setup since some businesses prefer to keep things professional. These virtual spaces are meant to be relaxed and encourage employees to let their hair down. However, they provide essential socialization without the expectation of a camera.
Changing the Script
Virtual meeting spaces offer users a level of anonymity. They can join as a retro-pixel-arty avatar and enjoy hanging out with others in the company in a safe, fun environment. The entire thing is customizable, from avatars to meeting rooms. It even feels like a game, with people moving their avatars around with the arrow keys. This strategy might not be the direction that some companies want to go, but there’s no question it improves employee morale. At the very least, a corporate office should consider these virtual meeting spaces.