Have you ever ended a day filled with virtual calls feeling completely drained? If so, you are certainly not alone! Over the past several years, “zoom fatigue” has become an increasingly common issue for professionals. The culprit? Virtual meetings have skyrocketed as the go-to means of gathering employees in a safe and healthy environment. While many companies are making moves back to the office, these meetings aren’t going away. As a result, it’s important to learn how to identify and combat zoom fatigue head on. Continue reading to learn more.
Cut down on multitasking
Whether it’s responding to emails or addressing an urgent request, we have all tried to multitask on virtual calls. This might seem productive, but this mental juggling act can actually fuel your zoom fatigue. Not only that, but you’re more likely to miss key details discussed during your meetings. To fight this temptation, close out all other tabs apart from the items you need during the meeting. Having less distractions will allow you to focus and retain all the information you need from the call.
Use the “hide your view” feature
If given the option, most of us would not choose to look at ourselves in a mirror for more than a few minutes. However, having cameras on during a virtual meeting essentially forces you to do just that. Not only is this unnatural for us to do, but looking at yourself for hours at a time can cause additional stress and fatigue. Most videoconferencing platforms have a “hide your view” feature, which allows you to hide your view of yourself while still allowing meeting participants to see you. Utilizing this feature not only keeps you from hyper-focusing on your appearance and your surroundings, but it can also help you better engage with your colleagues on the call.
Stay focused on the meeting’s agenda
It can be tempting to catch up socially with your colleagues on a work call, especially if you don’t get to talk on a regular basis. However, this catching up is best done off work calls. Long meetings are a main cause of zoom fatigue and, unfortunately, these types of conversations are typically why meetings go on longer than they should. To avoid this, keep your social check-ins separate from your regular meetings. While a little small talk is okay, try to stick to the allotted meeting time by focusing on getting through the agenda. If there’s a particular colleague you want to catch up with, reach out to see if they have time to chat later in the week. Read also: 5 Ways To Build Social Capital At Work.
Take breaks away from your screen
Staring at a screen for hours is not only mentally draining, but it can have long-term consequences on your physical health too. While it’s always important to build scheduled breaks into your workday, it’s just as important to limit your screen time when you can. To combat zoom fatigue, put all electronic devices away during your breaks (yes, that includes your cellphone). Grabbing some fresh air, reading a book, or visiting your local coffee shop for a pick-me-up can help recharge your battery and give you extra energy throughout the day.
Advocate for “no meeting” days
On days when you have virtual meetings, you likely find yourself having to start and stop work on projects. This can make meetings feel like a distraction and can lead you to feel less productive and more burnt out overall. To prevent this, some companies are implementing “no meeting days” to help increase productivity. If possible, advocate for your team to adopt this strategy. These non-meeting days can help you devote more uninterrupted time to high-level strategy, professional development, and larger projects.