Zoom fatigue and what to do about it

Mark Lewis
April 22, 2020
min read
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So we’re now nearly six weeks into our lock down period.

If we think back to when all of this started the key message was all about communicating to our teams, even over-communicating to help keep everybody informed about what’s happening in the organization. And in doing so maintaining a strong connection as people shift from an office environment to working from home.

In speaking with leaders at the moment I’m also hearing a key new theme coming out - I would describe it as Zoom fatigue.

I’m hearing people describe how they’re going from one meeting to the next and that can literally be within a space of 30 seconds. They’re not getting the time to digest the first meeting and they’re not getting time to prepare for their next meeting.

The level of intensity that comes from the video being on and trying to stay engaged with what’s happening is really making these days of working from home absolutely exhausting.

It’s making it a real struggle to actually digest our thoughts and work through them. As one person described to me it’s like missing out on that mini meditation when they used to either walk or drive between meetings, and having that time to collect their thoughts.

Whether it’s taking time to prepare or digest, I think this is something that we really need to remain cognizant of.

If video calls are consuming you and you’re feeling exhausted at the end of each day, we’ve got three tips that might help you out.

1. Get Structure

The first one is to get more structure in terms of scheduling when your calls are and also being cognizant of calling other team members into video calls. You might inadvertently be distracting them or pulling them out of a solid block of work where they’re achieving stuff because you don’t get the benefit of seeing what they’re doing like when in the office.

So try communicate a set schedule of when you’d like to do your calls.

2. Create Space

Secondly when you’re doing this try to create some space between these video calls to give yourself some time to digest and collect thoughts from the first meeting, and give yourself time to mentally prepare for your next meeting.

3. Dial in without video

My third tip is one that my wife shared with me and that is to use your phone to dial in to the meeting. If you already have a good connection with the people you’re meeting and you know them well, then video may not be so essential for you on that call.

When you dial in with your phone you can actually walk around and get some air in your lungs while you’re having the meeting, rather than having the intensity of staring into the camera and maintaining that eye contact with everybody that’s on the zoom.

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