How to Beat Zoom Fatigue
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
While video calls seemed fun at first, many of us are increasingly experiencing burnout from too much on-screen meeting time, a phenomenon that’s been labeled “Zoom fatigue.” This method of communicating and connecting with others, however, is the new normal. If constant video meetings have you feeling drained, try these suggestions to help you avoid becoming Zoomed out.
- Establish blocks of time with no meetings. This works well if you share work calendars with your team. Simply carve out blocks of time for “No Meetings” so you can have openings to work on projects. Another way to manage meetings is to set aside half of your day for meetings and the other half for focused work. You might also suggest a team solution since you’re probably not the only one suffering from Zoom fatigue. Talk to your coworkers about setting aside a meeting-free day each week such as “Meeting-Free Friday” or you can designate only one to two days a week for meetings such as Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Mix up your meeting platforms. Look into using other communication methods, such Email and chat platforms like Slack or Twist. These options are not as disruptive to your day and your communication can be searchable so that you can easily refer back later. There are also cloud collaboration options such as Google docs and other G Suite offerings that let you work as a team in the same document concurrently which is perfect for brainstorming and project planning. Another great all-in-one work tool called Basecamp allows you to share a schedule, to-dos, documents, and more for remote teamwork. Finally, encourage your team to look into different types of remote communication through new tools including Hopin or Lunchpool that provide the opportunity to set up meaningful interactions with your coworkers.
- Always have an agenda and attend only necessary meetings. Ask yourself if there are some meetings that you truly need to attend and if they are valuable to your work. To help with this decision, ask the meeting organizer to send over a document with the purpose of the meeting and what they want to review, along with an agenda.
- Keep meetings short. Not every meeting needs to be an hour or more long. Try using 30 minutes as your default time and go from there. Ask everyone to share slides or documents prior to the meeting so coworkers have a chance to process the information and come prepared. Your shorter video meeting can then be focused on answering questions, getting feedback and discussion.
Managing your mental health and happiness is important during these challenging times and constant video meetings can cause exhaustion. Seek out solutions and establish new behaviors that can help you manage this fatigue and be more productive.