Tech

Your Brain Needs a Break After a Zoom Meeting, According to Study

Listen to your brain.
IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK
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Life in quarantine has been an endless repetitive routine, mostly involving your job, chores, and other responsibilities. If you work remotely, though, a big part of your schedule definitely involves virtual meetings. Science shits on Zoom a lot (check receipts here and here) but new research has revealed just how it affects your brain.

The conclusion? Virtual meetings are so exhausting that you need a break after. Just one Zoom meeting won't exactly melt your brain, but it's the hopping from one meeting to the next that's really breaking down your ability to focus and causing meeting fatigue.

The study's participants were monitored using an electrode cap to check their brain waves while taking video meetings. Researchers found that subjects were more stressed after sitting through four meetings straight, while those that were able to take short breaks were not only less stressed but were able to focus and engage better.

"Our research shows breaks are important, not just to make us less exhausted by the end of the day, but to actually improve our ability to focus and engage while in those meetings," says Michael Bohan, study co-author and senior director of Microsoft's Human Factors Engineering group.

A virtual meeting seems harmless, tiring at best, but it can be a high source of stress. Using participants' data, the researchers found that stress levels rise sharply at the beginning and end of meetings as your brain tries to prepare and switch gears for the upcoming meeting.

Researchers say the best way to relax and recharge your brain is to meditate. Even 10 minutes helps. Here are the best relaxation apps to get you started.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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