Finnish Lapland combats Zoom fatigue

Add the silence and serenity of Finnish Lapland to your next online meeting
Photographer: Terhi Tuovinen

Only in Lapland, the official travel marketing channel for Finnish Lapland, has announced that they are offering images inspired by their Sound of Lapland – SCAPES album for use in Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and other online meeting platforms. The inspirational background images allow users to replace their office, bedroom or living room walls with relaxing Arctic landscapes. Only in Lapland’s hope is that this small measure can help make video calls a little more relaxing and offset the “Zoom fatigue” many people around the world are feeling after more than a year of remote working.

Zoom fatigue is the name given to the psychological and physiological effects that result from too much video calls and teleconferencing. According to a 2021 study by Stanford, Zoom fatigue comes from too much close-up eye contact, seeing yourself in video calls, reduce mobility, and the higher mental stress of video calls.

“Even we at Only in Lapland aren’t immune from Zoom fatigue, as we’ve been working remote on and off since last March,” says Salla-Mari Koistinen, program manager for Only in Lapland. “We wanted to be able to connect with people who’ve been stuck indoors or forced to stare at a Microsoft Teams background for 6 hours a day. We hope that this little difference might offset some of that mental and visual strain and help people deal with this extraordinary situation.”

The background images are inspired by SCAPES, the 2019 album by Sound of Lapland. SCAPES was created using visuals of Lapland wilderness and culture, with a focus on the ambient sounds of life and play in Lapland.

“We originally envisioned SCAPES as offering an escape from the monotony of a bus ride to work or the hum of city life. The songs were created to showcase all of Lapland’s 8 seasons. We had no idea that only a few months after its release, many millions more people around the world would be looking for a release from the stress of the pandemic or the drudgery of continuous remote working. We hope SCAPES can help soothe the mental irritation that remote working can build up over time,” says Koistinen.

SCAPES was first released as three singles in spring 2019, with the full album following in November 2019. It has over 100,000 listens on Spotify, and the accompanying videos have over 500,000 views on Facebook and YouTube. SCAPES was created in collaboration with Flatlight Creative House, who travelled across Finnish Lapland and all eight seasons to capture the sound and images for the project.