For many organizations, remote meetings became the new norm. Just as “Googling” is something akin to any web search, the term “Zooming” has become ubiquitous and a generic verb to replace videoconferencing. Virtual meetings have skyrocketed, with hundreds of millions happening daily, as social distancing protocols have kept people apart physically. Zoom fatigue is the general feeling of fatigue, exhaustion, and burnout caused by meeting after meeting on Zoom or another conferencing tool.
- By being sure to eat the right amount of healthy foods and get enough sleep, you prepare your body to handle the stress of the day.
- To encourage productivity and give your staff the most uninterrupted time to focus on their tasks throughout the week, schedule all meetings for one to two days per week.
- On the one hand, having your camera on lets people detect non-verbal cues, which can reduce fatigue on both sides.
- Others will see you, but (as in real-life) you won’t constantly be reminded of that fact.
- That requires a higher level of documentation and always an eye towards asking whether people have access to the same information whether they’re in the office or remote.
A man using a laptop, in an online meeting with a woman, feeling mental burnout. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons to take away from the virtual workplace is that work exists inside the context of life, and it always has. This new way of life and work is disruptive for everyone, so you don’t have to apologize for every mishap. If someone else’s background noise becomes too much, kindly and respectfully suggest that they go on mute. In this post, we’ll remote work fatigue cover why Zoom makes you feel tired, some tips for combatting Zoom fatigue, and introduce a tool that removes the need for so many meetings in the first place. If your burnout is affecting your mental health and relationships, talking to a well-trained therapist can help you put the problems in the past. With a caring counselor using evidence-based psychological treatments, you can deal not only with the WFH burnout but also with any related issues.
Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout
So what can you do about Zoom fatigue, and even more importantly, know how to combat Zoom fatigue? It isn’t something you’ll fix overnight, but it is possible.
Of course, these factors can be found within in-person meetings too, but are much more likely to be found in video conferencing meetings. Being able to stare at your own image is also a factor that isn’t present in usual meetings, and can make you painfully aware of your own behaviour, appearance and presence. This can cause you to zone out of meetings and focus instead on adjusting your own appearance, which can increase anxiety and decrease motivation and productivity. Video conferencing eye contact means that rather than making occasional eye contact with the person speaking, as is natural, you’re constantly observing a number of people. This also gives you the impression that you’re being observed by several sets of eyes at once.
Zoom fatigue is real: How to make it stop
The good news is that understanding why remote meetings have such a tiring effect on the brain can help companies take steps to reduce the fatigue. So, what happened to all those meetings when companies moved to remote work in the wake of COVID-19?
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- Free from office distractions and interruptions, remote workers tend to be more focused and productive.
- For example, organizing a swag-stash, meeting a prospective client for coffee, helping with a company philanthropy event, or attending an industry event or in-person training.
- With repeated outings, teammates feel more like part of a club than guests at a one-off event.
- Not to mention, most of us are also staring at a small window of ourselves, making us hyperaware of every wrinkle and expression .
- In Zoom meetings, it is always best to avoid multi-tasking whenever you can.
They’ll also give you a chance to reset by looking at something other than your computer screen and your webcam for a hot minute. Those extra few minutes will give you a chance to get up and stretch, grab a coffee, have a quick snack, or take that much-needed bathroom break.
Combating Zoom Fatigue
I deal with this by changing my workstation later in the day and taking calls from a different place, such as a cafeteria, break room, garden or somewhere else more practical. Also, I keep the video off for some internal calls, especially later in the day. By that time, I am often tired and want to only focus on the discussion. Members of Forbes Business Council share how leaders can reduce the negative impact of using video conferencing tools on employees.
How do you make meetings more fun?
- Open with a Joke. A little humor can go a long way toward making your meeting attendees feel at ease.
- Plan a creative meeting agenda. Creative meetings start with a creative meeting agenda!
- Pepper your presenter slides with pictures. Nobody likes a wordy presentation!
Karin Reed is a communications coach and co-author of “Suddenly Virtual”, which aims to help managers and employees cope with the sudden shift online. Endless video calls can be exhausting, and aren’t always the best format for conveying information. For more than 20 years, Jaeson has been working with in-house and agency teams to conceive, lead and deliver digital experiences that solve real problems. Jaeson helps define digital product and service strategies for clients including Charles Schwab, Delta Community Credit Union, LifeScan, and others.
Want to do team building online?
The work day can become too predictable, and there may be very little excitement, uncertainty, or unexpectedness to challenge and stimulate the remote worker. Finding a new place to work out of is one of the best work from home burnout tips. Switching environments can be a way to re-energize and refocus when working remotely.
- With a caring counselor using evidence-based psychological treatments, you can deal not only with the WFH burnout but also with any related issues.
- Habit tracking is one of the best tips for feeling unmotivated when working from home.
- For external calls, avoid defaulting to video, especially if you don’t know each other well.
- But that doesn’t mean that there can’t be some entertainment.
- Nothing makes a video call drag on like the person who called it having no idea what they actually want to accomplish.