Most of us have as many Zoom calls in a day, as we had in our entire lives before 2020 hit. And that is - at least in my case- not an understatement. A year and a half after remote work has become the norm, it is safe to say that most of us are experiencing some form of Zoom Fatigue. But, what is Zoom Fatigue, and why is it so prevalent?
Well, Zoom Fatigue is that sense of tiredness you get from the overuse of digital platforms and more particularly video calls. It has become quite commonplace because video calls have replaced many quick interactions, questions and clarifications we could get from walking over to a colleague’s desk or bumping into them at the coffee machine.
Recently, a Standford article highlighted the four causes for zoom fatigue, which are:
- Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense.
- Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing.
- Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility.
- The cognitive load is much higher in video chats.
Managing Zoom Fatigue for Wellbeing
Navigating a global pandemic and the many restrictions and changes imposed in our daily lives has been difficult for everyone, which is why wellbeing is at the top of every leader's mind. So beyond a sense of tiredness, how is zoom fatigue affecting your wellbeing and your teams?
When nearly every aspect of our lives, from work to socialising, learning and grocery shopping, are all done online, screen time can be incredibly exhausting, which affects us both physically and mentally. To help teams manage Zoom Fatigue, leaders need to acknowledge the reality of Zoom Fatigue, understand how it’s affecting their team, and help them overcome it with some easy tips and changes.
Practical Tips To Fight Zoom Fatigue
Here are some ideas that teams can quickly implement to help them manage zoom fatigue:
1. Say no to virtual meetings. Not all meetings need to be Zoom meetings. They could be an email or a phone call or even a slack or teams’ message. It is also a good idea to keep at least one day a week when there are no meetings at all so that you have time to focus on your work without the interruption of Zoom calls.
2. Hide yourself on Zoom. You can hide yourself on Zoom so that others can see you, but you cannot see yourself. Not being able to see yourself in video calls is more in line with normal communication patterns, and it will make video conferences a lot less fatiguing.
3. Take breaks in between meetings and during the day. You would have breaks from your screen in typical office environments to have a coffee with a colleague, attend a meeting, participate in a learning workshop or grab lunch. While working remotely, it's even more important to consciously take screen breaks to keep yourself productive.
4. Make time to have fun with your team. Not all online meetings need to be exhausting Some virtual events, like team engagement and team building activities help break the monotony of remote work and help re-energise teams. Hybrid team building events (a mix of online and face-to-face events) are a great way of engaging teams without them feeling the pressure of another online meeting. Participants are provided with Tool Kits which they use during the event and work together to achieve a common goal. This makes the entire experience highly interactive and engaging and helps teams relax and have fun.
Although Zoom Fatigue is very much real and in most cases, unavoidable, you can combat the side effects of continuous virtual meetings with the tips mentioned above. At Biz Group, we offer a wide range of virtual, hybrid, and face to face team building events that will help you combat Zoom Fatigue. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how we can help you keep your teams engaged, motivated, and productive while working remotely.