Virtual Meeting Fatigue: Exploring the Impact of Virtual Meetings on Cognitive Performance and Active Versus Passive Fatigue

Niina Nurmi*, Satu Pakarinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In this study, we challenge the commonly held belief that virtual meeting fatigue manifests as exhaustion (i.e., active fatigue) resulting from overloading demands and instead suggest that participation in virtual meetings may lead to increased drowsiness (i.e., passive fatigue) due to underload of stimulation. Using subjective and cardiac measures (heart rate variability), we investigated the relationships between virtual versus face-to-face meetings and different types of fatigue (active and passive) among 44 knowledge workers during real-life meetings (N = 382). Our multilevel path analysis revealed a link between virtual meetings and higher levels of passive fatigue, which then impacted cognitive performance. Additionally, our results suggest that work engagement may act as an individual-level moderator, explaining why some knowledge workers are affected, while others are not. Given the growing amount of time spent in virtual meetings, these findings emphasize the risks to mental energy and cognitive performance and highlight the protective role of high general work engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Volume28
Issue number6
Early online date26 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • meetings
  • fatigue
  • heart rate variability
  • cognitive flexibility
  • virtual work

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