Let’s be honest: video meetings are now a standard part of work, whether you’re in an office or, most likely, working from home. Video conferencing allows for better connectivity when face-to-face meetings are not a possibility. It’s actually quite convenient and saves on resources, but there’s also a downside.
“Zoom fatigue” is a genuine phenomenon that’s named after the popular video conferencing platform Zoom. It’s the culprit of many non-productive meetings. Essentially, it is a way to define the sheer exhaustion felt after one too many video meetings. Given the current global pandemic, it’s also likely that video is also used for your personal life too, in order to check in and connect with loved ones. This is especially true of people who find themselves rather self-conscious on video.
Despite its name, the fatigue isn’t just from Zoom. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and even FaceTime can also evoke this kind of feeling. More than other interactions, video requires a lot more mentally and even emotionally.
It’s possible to actually enjoy your meetings though! Here are some tips and tricks to help combat Zoom fatigue:
Break It Up
On days when the meetings seem never-ending, schedule breaks in between, even little ones. Going on a marathon of video calls may seem productive in order to accomplish everything quicker, but it may also run you down much more than if you take several small breaks in between.
If video cannot be avoided, reduce the length instead. Have bullet points handy if necessary so that things can go by quickly and smoothly without anything falling through the cracks. Invite only the people that are absolutely needed in the conversation. Avoid running tangents that could make your meeting run longer than it should.
Explore the video platform and see how you can let it work better for you. Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow for varying screen views; perhaps focusing on whoever is speaking instead of an entire grid is more your speed. Also, look into virtual backgrounds, especially if you’re worried that your actual background isn’t appropriate.
While going the video route allows for meetings that have full context since it’s the closest thing to face-to-face, it’s not required for every single company interaction. If it’s a clarification, an information exchange or even a quick check-in, consider messaging platforms like Slack. E-mails are handy, alongside phone calls that are audio only. Recording a video could also work; this allows for a personal touch that doesn’t waste time or require a lot of in-the-moment stress.
Lessen Your Meetings
Reducing the number of meetings you have in a day is a great place to start. You may not actually have to attend every single video meeting! Ideally, companies and organisations set aside a solid block of time wherein employees have no meetings, to give a break from video. Alternatively, meetings could be spread out on set days, so that there are meeting-free days within the work week.
Even if you’re close to your colleagues or team, constantly having to be “on” will drain you at some point. Video meetings require more effort to focus and a need to be present in every sense. While productivity is good, staying healthy is great. Follow these tips so you can enjoy virtual meetings or even lessen the number of online meetings to attend.
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