Lesson 4: Zoom fatigue: What is it and how to overcome it?
Before we start deep-diving into the productive efficiency, we must tackle ( Zoom fatigue, 2009). The best way to keep full would be to intake regular small balanced meals with carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
A recent study by Robert Half says that 44% of people suffer from video call fatigue. Even though this is a completely new concept, it is a worrisome issue that has risen since this pandemic started.
In this lesson, we are going to talk about what Zoom fatigue is, what causes it, and what we can do to fight it.
What is Zoom fatigue?
So, we’d like to start by pointing out something important: when we say Zoom fatigue, we are talking about the apathy towards video conferencing in general, not just Zoom. We just wanted to say it out loud because we believe it’s really unfair to Zoom since it is just one of the tools that we use for video conferencing.
Anyway, Zoom fatigue can be explained as a general feeling of extreme tiredness and exhaustion caused by online video meetings. If our work requires us to participate in multiple video chat meetings per day, it will eventually require more mental processing than face-to-face talks.
These are some of the Zoom fatigue symptoms:
- Headaches or migraines
- Back pain
- Low productivity
- Lack of concentration
The symptoms can vary, depending on the person experiencing the problem. Some can experience only one or two symptoms, but others may experience most of them.
How do we fix this?
Turn off the camera
We don’t always need to show our smiling faces. We can give it a rest and relax our cheekbones from time to time.
The idea of being seen and being presentable during the calls causes distractions and makes us feel tired. In most cases, you don’t even need a camera. For example, if someone is presenting, they don’t need to see you. Also, if there is a large group of people at the meeting, nobody will be bothered looking at you.
If we need to have the camera on for some reason, we can hide the self-view and we won’t have to look at ourselves. This will reduce the level of anxiety because we won’t be preoccupied with our looks.
Consider alternative communication tools
Zoom is a useful platform. However, they aren’t the only way to communicate with your colleagues. Give yourself a break and try something simple or, as we also say, Zoom alternatives .
- Email — This could’ve been an email, right? Just send a short note instead of scheduling another Zoom call.
- Chanty – Messaging apps such as Chanty are a great way to stay in touch and share information with your colleagues. Messages won’t burn you out like video calls.
- Phone – Just pick up the phone and cut back on virtual meetings.
We know it’s tempting to do more at once, but research shows that if we do multiple things at the same time, it takes a toll on our productive efficiency. And let’s face it: nobody is good at multitasking. Close other tabs so you can focus on more productive things to do (remember, one task at a time). Effective virtual calls require more brainpower, so multitasking in these circumstances becomes extra problematic.
Fix your schedule
When we have back-to-back meetings all day long, we are burned out What we need are breaks between meetings to give our mind and eyes a rest, and stretch our legs. Also, be aware of the time. If your meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes, stick to it. Don’t push it to 45 minutes. Say your goodbyes and let your colleagues get on with their lives.
Move your body
Speaking of breaks, back in the days when we used to go to the office and finish up a meeting, We would head back to our desk or to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. Nowadays, we are just closing Zoom, opening Google Chrome, and continuing where we left off. We don’t give our brains a break after the call. Try to make it a habit to exert some energy by getting up and going outside. Give yourself some fresh air before your next task. It will help you focus and get through the workday productively.
When you have a face-to-face meeting, do you ever jump straight to the point? There is always a bit of chit-chat, jokes, or a weekend story. Zoom fatigue is not just about the tech, but also about the communication. Crack a joke and try to make everyone laugh. A hearty laugh goes a long way.
Designate a meeting-free day
You are probably not the only one in your company that is feeling Zoom fatigue. Talk to your colleagues about it and establish a meeting-free day. On that day, the whole company decides not to schedule meetings. This will give you a chance to focus on heads-down work without trying to fit it in between calls. You can also flip it, and have one day when people can book meetings. If that is doable of course.
Do you really have to attend all video calls? The answer is probably no. This is one of the toughest things you’ll have to do, but it is really effective. You can ask the meeting requester what they want to discuss and see if that works for you. If you think the meeting won’t be worth your time, feel free to decline. If it increases your productive efficiency, go for it.
Use recorded videos instead of calls
Video messages can sometimes completely replace video calls. They are more efficient and clear. Not only do they save us time, but also our colleagues’ time.
We hope that this lesson has helped you to better understand what the Zoom fatigue phenomenon is and how you can recognize it for a more productive day.