Category : PROspective
Zoom Fatigue. When I first heard someone use this phrase back in the spring, I felt so seen. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I realized that it wasn’t just me! I had been spending hours a day on Zoom calls, and while this was far more sedentary than my usual routine, I was utterly exhausted at the end of the day. It turns out that the concentration and processing that are required for video conferencing take a toll on us in ways that in-person interactions do not.
I’m still Zooming quite a lot these days, and although I haven’t found a fool-proof way to overcome the realities of zoom fatigue, there are a few strategies that have proven helpful:
Take a Break!
When possible, schedule some time in-between Zoom meetings. If you’re doing the scheduling, you can arrange for 25- or 50-minute meetings (in lieu of the usual 30- or 60-minutes) to allow yourself a chance to stretch your legs, get some water, and even run to the restroom!
Sneak in a Walk
If I’m tuning into a webinar, or a more informal meeting, I often plug in my headphones and listen in while I take my dog for a walk. It’s a win for both of us – we get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and I have the satisfaction of having gotten some work done, too!
I’m letting the cat out of the bag by sharing this…but I’ve blocked off Wednesdays on my calendar this summer as Zoom-free zones. Certainly, there are times when I can’t avoid it, but I try really hard not to schedule any Zoom meetings on Wednesdays. This gives me a nice breather during the week when I can completely devote my attention to my to-do list and avoid the distraction of hopping on and off Zoom calls. If you can’t block off an entire day, see whether there are regular mornings or afternoons that you can designate as Zoom-free zones.
Go Old School
Not all meetings require video! I’ve had some wonderful work-related phone calls this summer. Not only were they effective in achieving our goals, but they have been a really refreshing break from sitting in front of the computer. An added bonus to taking some meetings by phone is that I can safely multitask on these calls. Whether it’s sorting laundry or prepping for dinner – I’m able to engage in the conversation while also dealing with the realities of working and living all in the same space.
We’d love to hear from you about ways in which you are fighting Zoom fatigue – please feel free to share with us on Twitter or Instagram! If you’d like to learn more about the reality of Zoom fatigue and ways to combat it, check out this recent article from Harvard Business Review.