Do you find yourself even more exhausted at the end of day after a day full of virtual meetings? You are not alone. Microsoft Teams saw a 200% increase in Teams meetings from March 16, 2020, to April 9, 2020, with close to 3 Billion meetings in a day. “Zoom Fatigue” is a real thing, and it is affecting us more than ever with the increased need for virtual meetings. When on a video meeting, we process information differently. To show that we are engaged, we must stare directly into the camera for extended periods. Unlike an in-person meeting, it is uncomfortable to glance away or briefly look out the window. We fear that if we do, the other participant will have the impression we are not listening. Also, the necessary focus on a virtual call is much higher. To follow who is talking and attempt to understand a conversation without being able to view body language and the non-verbal cues is extremely taxing. Luckily, Microsoft has a better solution to combat “Zoom Fatigue,” and it will be generally available in August.
Introducing Microsoft Teams Together Mode: Together Mode takes the Brady Bunch out of the virtual meeting. No longer will you have to stare at a grid of meeting participants. Together Mode uses AI technology to digitally place all meeting participants in a shared background like an auditorium or classroom. Some may think this is a bit gimmicky or resembles a JibJab video, although this new virtual meeting experience has extreme benefits.
Together Mode reduces virtual meeting fatigue by allowing all participants to look at the entire group as if you are all in the same room. This experience allows for more natural interaction and collaboration. With a usable illusion, the eye contact problem in virtual meetings is eliminated. In Together Mode, all participants view the entire group through a big virtual mirror, which fixes the appearance that participants are looking in the wrong direction. This technology allows participants to naturally attend the meeting without feeling the need to stare directly into the camera causing extreme eye fatigue.
Speaking of a more natural gaze, Together Mode also allows for a more natural meeting as it will enable the participants to track more easily who is speaking. This ease then provides the ability to watch people’s face and body language, reopening the door to non-verbal cues in a meeting. Microsoft said it well when it stated, “Together mode creates a shared space in which people are not separated by barriers.” In a time when barriers very much separate many of us, Microsoft has once again come through with another win. Together Mode through Microsoft Teams should be generally available in August and could make a massive impact on our new routine of consistent virtual meetings.
If you are ready to eliminate “Zoom Fatigue” in your office, then Together Mode may be your new best friend. This new tool can change the way your team and clients communicate and collaborate in a virtual setting. Contact your Pendello Solutions Team today to learn more about Teams and Together Mode. Our experienced team will help you navigate how this new tool can positively impact your business.