Since the start of Covid-19, the number of video calls or video conferencing meetings has grown, and these are causing mental exhaustion. Due to physical distancing, quarantine, and lockdowns, people use this option for business and life events such as attending major life events like graduations, weddings, funerals, participating in fitness classes, join in worship, enjoy social activities, and enjoy social activities.
In fact, many workers, particularly those working remotely, are increasingly experiencing burnout, a phenomenon dubbed zoom fatigue.
Therefore the article will consider what zoom fatigue is and how you can treat it.
Definition of Zoom Fatigue
Zoom is a video calling platform, and because of the pandemic, millions of people switched to video calls to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore zoom fatigue refers to the exhaustion that results from the constant video calls.
This phenomenon has become common in this era of remote work due to the social distancing, quarantine, and lockdowns measures adopted by many governments to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zoom fatigue was coined to refer to exhaustion that results from using video conferencing platforms. Other common platforms are Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, and more.
Some factors make holding meetings via video conferencing platform more tiring than face-to-face interactions. But the overall reason is that video calls need more mental processing than physical one. Other reasons are:
They cause the brain to work harder: It takes more effort to process non-verbal cues like body language and tone. Muting mics to avoid distractions may make speakers feel like they are talking into the video. Further, any slight delay may cause the participants to have negative perceptions about others, making people look less friendly.
The self-view: People don’t see themselves in real meetings, but they do in video calls. Self-view makes people hyper-aware of themselves, their appearance, and their background, which causes performative feelings. You also have to act accordingly because the camera is always on. However, in a face-to-face meeting, you don’t feel that other people’s eyes are on you and at all times.
There are many technical errors: Video calls suffer from screen sharing difficulties, frozen screens, spotty Wi-Fi, device lags, software crashes, and more.
There are a lot more distractions: Unlike in an in-person meeting, there are many distractions in a video call, such as the temptation to keep on working, slack, or check email. But the fact that you can’t effectively multitask because you need too much of your attention causes fatigue to set in.
It’s possible to cut down on video calls, and this will make most remote workers happy. However, some of them are unavoidable, but there are solutions to make them bearable. Here are the keys.
Zoom Fatigue Solutions
Create NO Meeting Blocks
No meeting blocks are an excellent way to reduce meetings and leave more time for work. The mix-up of activities protects the team from burning out due to engaging in one task, such as a video call meeting.
Still, you can establish a meeting-free day where no meetings will be held, and the team will continue with their assigned roles. This prevents individuals who request meetings at any time of the day from distracting others. It also weeds out team members who are unwilling to wait or schedule when it’s convenient for everyone.
Limit Video calls
Cut down on video meetings by combining meetings with the same participants rather than having multiple calls or group the company’s overview meeting the same day as the weekly team meeting.
Since not all meetings require video calls, you can cancel all unnecessary appointments and ask the conveners to email the document, set up a document for collaboration, or even call.
You will realize that a phone call can accomplish more than the actual face time. More so, the team doesn’t have to dress up or put on makeup to receive a call, and so it reduces a lot of tension, especially for remote workers.
Keep Meetings Short
Your meeting doesn’t have to be an hour-long or an entire day; 30 minutes can work perfectly well, especially when everybody is prepared.
One great way of shortening and making your meetings productive is by updating your team in advance about the agenda, emailing the slides, and asking for feedback in advance.
So your video call will only focus on discussion, questions, and sharing of ideas instead of getting every participant up to speed.
Switch up the Screen View
Looking at a screen full of faces can be distracting. Of course, you will get distracted by some movement in the background of your colleagues and more.
One way of minimizing distraction that can leave you feeling exhausted is switching from gallery view to speaker view and hiding participants.
That means you will only focus on one person on the screen.
It’s extremely tempting to open another window and begin browsing your emails or to continue working on your other projects. Multitasking can create a lot of memory issues and eat onto your productive time.
Therefore, give the video call 100% of your attention instead of engaging in more than one activity, and this will reduce fatigue.
Implement Breaks during the Calls
It’s a good idea to have breaks for team calls lasting more than an hour. This simply means avoid back to back video meetings to allow the team to decompress, relax, or enjoy a cup of tea. Breaks will give you fuel, boost your creativity and motivation to continue with the long video sessions.
However, don’t use your breaks to check your phone or emails; instead, stretch your body to get a more relaxed mood and release tension.
Screen fatigue is real, especially due to the increased adoption of remote work or online learning, which favors virtual meetings. However, simplifying virtual video conferencing meetings as much as possible can reduce mental exhaustion and prevent zoom fatigue
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