Zoom Fatigue? Here's How to Cope
Are you burned out on video conferencing for play and work? You’re not alone.
When the stay-at-home directives first happened, people embraced using video conferencing. But as time wore on, I have seen a wave of Zoom Fatigue. People are complaining that they are more exhausted than ever, and dread the words, “want to meet on Zoom?”
There are good reasons for why video conferencing feels more stressful.
-It requires more focus than a face-to-face chat
-It feels a lot more performative (like you have to put on a show)
-It’s hard to read body language
-You’re way more up-close-and-personal (since your face is front and center)
-You never know when a tech fail might interrupt your meeting
-You feel like you can’t say no since you’re at home anyway
-You are keenly aware we have to video conference because of the pandemic
Since we might be stuck doing this for a little while longer, how can you make video conferencing less exhausting and more joyful? Here are my top tips.
1. Ask yourself if video is best or necessary? Don’t be afraid to ask for a regular phone call if it will accomplish the same objectives and reserve video conferencing for situations when you must have face-to-face interaction.
2. Ditch the 1-hour convention. I don’t know who made up a rule that all meetings have to be 1 hour by default, but I schedule meeting times based on how much time I think is needed to get through the agenda. I regularly have 10 minute, 25 minute, and 35 minute long meetings - yes, odd numbers but you will be so happy to see your time free up.
3. Sit further back from the screen. This allows less of that stare-down which stresses people out, and also gives you more context for non-verbal cues and reading body language.
4. Take stretch breaks. Sitting in one position at your desk is going to contribute to stiff muscles and rigid joints. Make sure to stand up and walk around your home between each video meeting.
5. Use varying locations. Think of other places in the home for video conferencing and rotate among them during the day.
Have you noticed Zoom Fatigue? Any other tips?