As the coronavirus continues to affect daily life, work, school, people are still turning to Zoom video calls. Zoom happy hours, parties, and games became a common part of people's social lives. But now more and more people have begun experiencing Zoom burnout, or feeling overwhelmed by the deluge of video calls. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Many are turning to video online calls thanks to COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. With schools, businesses, and restaurants closed, people are increasingly moving to video calling platform Zoom for work and socializing. The company says its stock already increased more than 100% since the outbreak spread in the US. Some people are adapting by turning to Zoom games and parties as a way to interact with friends and stay in touch, but others are starting to feel burned out with what's been called Zoom fatigue. A few people shared how they're using Zoom, and what they're doing to combat burnout, with Business Insider. Here's what they had to say.
Fee Pelz-Sharpe, a 20-year-old college student, began to feel burnt out from Zoom calls almost immediately, though some classes were optional and they could watch recordings later. They use Zoom mostly for classes, which became remote this spring, and also for talking to friends. "I think part of it is that I'm not constantly aware of my own appearance in in-person classes, while on Zoom I'm constantly adjusting and readjusting," they told Business Insider. They said that throughout Zoom calls, they worry about lighting and angles, even monitoring their facial expression to ensure that they appear interested enough. Some of the technical issues common to Zoom and other video calling software also contributed to Pelz-Sharpe's burnout. They mentioned that it's both frustrating and exhausting to try to maintain a conversation while some participants' internet is slow, so audio can become out of sync or videos can freeze. People also tend to forget to mute themselves, which can be distracting with background noise. They found that these minor issues make every conversation last longer than it would in person. In their circle of friends, the feeling of Zoom fatigue is common. "I feel like at the beginning of this situation people were a lot more interested in Zoom happy hours and birthday parties." Now, more of their interactions have turned into phone calls and one-on-one conversations.
Carley Campbell, a 19-year-old student, also uses Zoom for classes and work. She says she really started to feel the signs of Zoom fatigue setting in around mid-April, and they've kept growing ever since. "I felt like I needed to take a nap in between meetings and sometimes I debated skipping entirely." She told Business Insider that her burnout stems from the expectation of going from meeting to meeting while remaining serious and professional, and feeling like she had to "scramble to the next link," leaving no time for basic necessities like eating, sleeping, and caring for her pets. She thinks her problem is fairly universal: "I have yet to find someone who enjoys these Zoom meetings." Zoom fatigue seems especially persistent among students. Bernadette Bruu, a 20-year-old college student, said "I felt zoom fatigue before I even started using it, honestly." Her school is on a trimester system, so she was still on spring break when she saw everyone sharing memes and complaints about "Zoom University," as remote school is jokingly called. In a way, these shared grievances have even contributed to the burnout. "That's the strange thing about this — everyone is going through the same thing, and that has become part of the fatigue — relatable humor, often from the professor or meeting host, takes up half of the dialogue in Zoom meetings. Fake-laughing through the pain got so old so fast, but it's the only method that professors have embraced so far to counteract how dismal the whole thing is."
Founder and investor Nemoy Rau, age 36, told Business Insider that he's always felt a level of Zoom fatigue, though it's increased recently. His company doesn't use Zoom because of security concerns, but he uses it to talk to friends and family, advise other startups and funds, and for religious groups. Like others said, Rau finds audio-only calls preferable to video, and he usually suggests everyone turn off their webcams. "I always joke and say, we all know what everyone looks like, save bandwidth," he said. Since the pandemic ended most in-person meetings, having a webcam turned on during calls has become more of an expectation, Rau says, and people feel compelled to use video in every call. Bruu noted a similar feeling about video calls, given both the ability to watch yourself on screen and the knowledge that others are watching you. "You basically sign on to being observed for an hour or more, even if only absentmindedly, by people with 'gallery view' on. Someone could even pin your video to their largest screen for an entire meeting if they wanted to."
According to Laura Hamill, who has a Ph.D in organizational psychology, Zoom is "just one piece of the puzzle" in the world right now contributing to an increased cognitive load. She pointed out that living through a pandemic, racial injustice, and protests, plus all the distractions that come with Zoom, can lead to fatigue, and eventually burnout. Each person dealing with Zoom burnout mentioned trying to spend some time offline and focus on analog hobbies, though none had yet found a way to cure their fatigue. Dr. Hamill suggests increases resources while decreasing demands, if possible. For example, she said that having a wellbeing mindset, showing compassion to yourself, and taking the time for non-work social connections can help. Organizations can increase resources by encouraging and supporting flexibility and understanding, and not making assumptions about what is going on in people's lives right now.SEE ALSO: 15 games to play on Zoom, from a murder mystery to cooking challenges Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
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What is Webex? How to get started with the web-conferencing tool for individuals, teams, and businesses
Summary List Placement Webex is a web-conferencing tool that you can use for group video or...Summary List Placement Webex is a web-conferencing tool that you can use for group video or audio meetings. Webex is also a much broader suite of tools that include apps for team collaboration, Voice Over IP phone services, online events, and more. Here's everything you need to know to get started with Webex Meetings, including subscription plans, how to install it, and to host and join meetings. Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Zoom's rapid growth means the platform is the one that most people think of when imaging group video conferencing. But Webex is among one of the oldest and most established web-conferencing services in operation. Accessible on mobile and desktop devices, Webex's robust subscription plans and feature sets mean it's still a popular choice for large businesses and enterprises. Plus, with a free tier of service, it's a good alternative for individuals and small businesses. Here's everything you need to know about Webex, including its various subscription plans, and how to download and get started with it. What you need to know about Webex Webex is more than just a video-conferencing platform; it's a suite of tools and services offered by Cisco. When you think of Webex, you probably imagine Webex Meetings, the online audio and video conferencing system. But Cisco also offers Webex Teams, a messaging, file sharing, and whiteboarding collaboration tool. Additionally, the company supports services like Webex Events for hosting virtual events, Webex Calling, a Voice Over IP technology that enables voice calling on any device, and an assortment of other products like Webex Training, Webex Support, and Webex Contact Center. What Webex Teams costs If you want to use Webex to conduct online conference calls, the good news is that, like most other web conference systems including Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, Webex has a free tier of service, so you can get started at no cost. Here's an overview of the four main tiers. Webex Meetings free. A free account allows a single host to conduct meetings up to 50 minutes with as many as 100 participants. Sessions can be recorded locally on the host's computer, but not to the cloud. Webex Meetings Starter: Priced at $13.50 per host a month, up to nine people can host meetings up to 24 hours in length for 100 participants. At this tier and higher, online recordings are supported along with a handful of additional features. Webex Meetings Plus: The main difference is that at this level — which costs $17.95 per host per month — up to 50 people can host meetings. Webex Meetings Business: For $26.95 per host a month, up to 100 people may host, and as many as 200 people may attend a meeting. Webex Meetings Enterprise: This level has customized pricing and allows for an unlimited number of hosts and meetings with up to 100,000 attendees. You can find additional information about subscribing to Webex Meetings on the Webex plans page. Creating a Webex Meetings account When you're ready to get started with Webex, you need to decide if you ever plan to host meetings or only want to join meetings hosted by others. To host, you will need to create an account. To join meetings, you can create an account, but you don't need to. To create an account, go to the Webex website and click "Start for Free" at the screen's top right. Then follow the instructions to create an account. Downloading Webex Depending on how you plan to use Webex, you have a few options for launching the conferencing tool. You can use the service on a computer by installing the desktop app, but that's not essential. Webex can run entirely within a web browser, so you can join meetings without installing anything at all. You can also install the mobile Webex app on your phone or tablet. To install the Webex desktop app on your Windows or Mac computer, go to the Webex website, create an account, and install it. If you've already opened an account but have not yet installed the app, go to the Downloads page to install the Cisco Webex Meetings desktop app. You can install the Webex mobile app for iOS or the Webex mobile app for Android. Getting started with Webex Meetings If you have any experience with other web conference tools, you will probably find Webex Meetings familiar and straightforward to use. If you are the host, you can start a meeting using the web site, desktop app, or mobile app. If you host a lot of Webex meetings, you might want to install the Webex plugin for Outlook, which lets you add Webex information to meeting invites in Outlook. If you schedule appointments in Outlook frequently, this is a lot more convenient than using the Webex app to schedule meetings. To join a Webex meeting, you need the email invitation sent by the meeting host. If you don't have it, you may need to ask them to resend it. You can generally choose to join via the desktop or mobile app or within a browser window. If the host uses one of the paid plans, you can also dial in using your phone. Just follow the directions in the email to get started. As the host or participant, you can easily "take over" the meeting by sharing your screen. Webex lets you share your entire screen, just a selected app or browser window, or an interactive whiteboard. If you are the host, or in the paid tiers of service an alternate host, you can record a meeting for future reference or to share with invitees who could not attend. After recording a meeting, it will be stored locally on your computer or in the cloud, where you can retrieve and download it for sharing. Product Embed: Product Name: Apple Macbook Pro 13-Inch Display with Touch Bar Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5d24b242a17d6c09cf06abe8&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150%Product Embed: Product Name: Samsung Chromebook 4+ Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5e1dfe1024fe12793569ebb3&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150%Product Embed: Product Name: iPhone 11 Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5d8e19fb2e22af18f40d281d&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150%Product Embed: Product Name: Samsung Galaxy S10 Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5ce596f89252e30bf479d993&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Related coverage from Tech Reference: How to set up a Webex meeting on desktop or mobile and invite others to join How to join a Webex meeting from your computer, the mobile app, or a phone call How to record a Webex video meeting on any type of account What is Zoom? A comprehensive guide to the wildly popular video-chatting service for computers and smartphones 'Do you need an account to use Zoom?': No, but you'll need one to make your own meetings — here's what you need to know SEE ALSO: The best computer monitors for working from home and hosting virtual meetings Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Microsoft Teams' new features to use AI and its smart assistant in video conferencing show it's no longer just playing catch up with Zoom
Microsoft Teams announced some new features Wednesday, including a new "together mode" that makes it look...Microsoft Teams announced some new features Wednesday, including a new "together mode" that makes it look like people in the same room and an integration with its smart assistant Cortana. The new tools set Microsoft's videoconferencing system apart from competitors like Zoom and Google Meet: "It really highlights Microsoft taking a leadership position in this market in a way that we haven't really seen," CCS analyst Angela Ashenden told Business Insider. Microsoft executive Jared Spataro, who runs Microsoft 365, said Microsoft has been looking closely at any gaps its services had, but that these new features push the market forward based on customer feedback. "Together mode" uses artificial intelligence segment people's heads and shoulders and place them in the same shared background on a video call. It's meant to reduce meeting fatigue and make people feel more connected. Click here for more BI Prime stories. Microsoft announced a handful of new features for its chat and collaboration app Teams on Wednesday that aim to make remote work less cumbersome and which show that it's finally pushing the video conferencing market forward, according to an analyst, instead of just playing catch-up to competitor Zoom. The launch includes a new feature called "together mode," which uses artificial intelligence technology segment people's head and shoulders and place them in the same shared background on a video call, and the integration of Microsoft's voice assistant Cortana. Microsoft Teams has seen its usage grow tremendously during the pandemic as offices had to quickly shift to remote work, reporting 75 million daily active users at the end of April. For many companies, Teams was the most convenient collaboration platform to turn to, but it has still spent the last few months playing catch-up to Zoom by adding features that its competitor already had, like tiled view and background noise suppression. Microsoft executive Jared Spataro, who runs the Microsoft 365 suite of tools, said he views competition as a way to understand what customers need. His team has been focused on listening to what people want from a video conferencing tools and making sure to close the gaps between Teams and other products. But it also realized that it could do more to push the market forward. "Competitors are useful as essentially a signal of what customers really want," Spataro told Business Insider. "So we watched them to get those signals, but the things that you see from us this week are based not on competitive signals, but instead on customer signals. We've really been able to roll up our sleeves and ask customers, 'Hey, what would help you deal with the current situation?'" The most glaring conclusion from talking to people using Microsoft tools to work remotely: After four months of remote work many workers are feeling video meeting fatigue and less connected to their colleagues, too. Video calls don't work as well for an all-hands or big team meeting, which are meant to foster a sense of community. That's where together mode comes in: It attempts to create a more natural setting so people feel less overwhelmed during team meetings, Spataro said. Meanwhile, it's "dynamic views" mode allows users to customize the layout of the video call, so they can easily decide whose screens are emphasized. "We started to realize that this idea of having the boxes on the screen was actually pretty mentally taxing," Spataro said. "You're kind of moving from one person to another and having a part of that background and a person. And we realized that that's very different from what people do generally." With these new tools Microsoft is finally taking a 'leadership position' Wednesday's announcement marks Microsoft as finally doing something in the video collaboration market that isn't just playing catch up, Angela Ashenden, an analyst at CCS Insight, told Business Insider. "I think it is a really important feature for them, not least because it really highlights Microsoft taking a leadership position in this market in a way that we haven't really seen," Ashenden said. "A lot of the capabilities that it's announced in the last few weeks have been making sure that it's on a par with Zoom." Microsoft is taking advantage of the other parts of its business, like artificial intelligence, to inform how it continues to improve and develop Microsoft Teams and rethink video communication in this new remote work environment. The new integration with Cortana will allow people to do things like reply to chats and join and leave meetings with their voice, and will be available on mobile and conference room hardware, though not desktop. As Microsoft continues to evolve Teams, Ashenden said she thinks it will put more focus into adding new features for the chat and collaboration parts of the app, as opposed to just video. Microsoft itself thinks that companies will be in a sort of hybrid state of working for the foreseeable future, with some offices reopening for a small number of employees when it's safe to do so and some people continuing to work from home, Spataro said. Microsoft wants Teams to be the digital platform that companies can use for this new style of working, and it goes beyond video meetings. "The big opportunity for them going forward is to kind of how they fit that leadership that they're really bringing forth around the video to do the same thing on the chat-based conversational side of house as well," Ashenden said. Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at email@example.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni investigated how Italian teenagers were coping with the coronavirus lockdown, working...Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni investigated how Italian teenagers were coping with the coronavirus lockdown, working with them to take pictures using video chat appsSome can’t wait to go out again, others don’t really want to, happy to stay home connected to the outside world only through their computer. Some are worried about the virus and others, instead, are more concerned about the climate crisis.To give an answer to this important question, we adopted the same means teenagers use to study and communicate within their community. Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp … these video chats were our eyes to take the pictures, remotely.Teens (and their parents) allowed us to take snapshots using the camera of their computers, tablets or mobile phones, at home, in their bedroom or where they are spending the quarantine, while they study, read, chat, play music, watch TV or exercise. Continue reading...