How to make video meetings easier
At the end of a long day of back-to-back Zoom calls, how do you feel?. As you leave the meeting and hang up your headphones, do you feel a big sigh of relief?
Do you have a headache, is your back or neck stiff? How about your eyes? Are they tired, sore … and do you feel exhausted and emotionally drained?
If you have any of these symptoms, you could have Zoom fatigue!
What is Zoom Fatigue
Our business world has dramatically changed over the past few years.
We haven’t had to fight with traffic, spend hours and hours traveling to see family or friends, or had a steady stream of people moving in and out of our homes or workspaces … it’s been kind of peaceful.
And yet, at the end of your day filled with Zoom-type online meetings, why are you totally exhausted and maybe even a bit down in the dumps?
There is a good chance you are suffering from what is referred to as; Zoom Fatigue. Zoom fatigue is exactly what it sounds like, the frustration and exhaustion you sometimes experience from all of the online video meetings you’ve been involved in all day. And you are not alone.
When we are on video, our minds use up a ton of energy. The brain works overtime to process all the stimuli and information involved in online meetings.
Missing the social cues of in-person connections
On Zoom, picking up human and social cues, like hand gestures, facial expressions, side looks, body movements, and even a person’s energy, is missed. This places stress on not just you but everyone in the meeting.
A feeling of being on stage
Being onscreen, especially if you see yourself reflected back like a mirror, creates a feeling of being on stage, and is accompanied by a need to perform. And this performance requires more energy than a simple face-to-face meeting does.
Zoom fatigue causes an overall feeling of mental and emotional fatigue and exhaustion. If you’re in front of the camera on a screen all day or required to take part in numerous video meetings, it will ultimately take its toll on your body and mindset.
What if the dog runs in, the doorbell rings, or the kids yell?
If you are at the office, you aren’t worried that your dog with bark, your cat will drop by, or your kids will come screaming in. We have all seen video examples of the funny things that happen to people at home.
Even though these things are pretty funny, when they happen to you in a business setting or while meeting, say, with your boss, those interruptions can be very stressful. If that happens multiple times a day…it negatively affects you.
It is normal to feel anxious about your remote workspace and events that might make us look bad or foolish to our colleagues.
The symptoms of Zoom fatigue
Since Zoom (online meeting) fatigue is a form of mental fatigue, it shares many common stress symptoms, including:
- Burnout (exhaustion)
- Lack of motivation
- Social detachment
- Low morale
- Low productivity
- Even physical pain and muscle tension
How these symptoms manifest depends on the individual and any pre-existing health or coping issues you may have.
How can you reduce Zoom Fatigue?
As we all know, video conferencing is here to stay, as remote work becomes part of the work landscape. But there are many things you can do to battle the effects. Including:
- Ask yourself if these video meetings need to happen. Reducing the number of video meetings you have in a day can make a big difference.
- Sometimes the phone is better. This is because you only have to concentrate on one person on the phone.
- Feel ok to tap out: Sometimes, you can just say no.
- Turn your video off if it isn’t mandatory.
- Build-in breaks: Try to leave 10-15 minutes between calls.
- Concentrate on one face during the meeting.
- Turn on “hide self” when possible.
- Use chat or email.
- Make the meetings shorter.
- Minimize the video call screen for less distraction.
Zoom fatigue is real, but there are ways to deal with it. Following these tips and changing your video conferencing habits can go a long way in reducing online meeting anxiety and fatigue. With a few small tweaks, your calls can become more enjoyable, less stressful, and more productive.
If you are having issues with your current video conferencing services. Or anything regarding video meetings, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.