Zoom Fatigue is a real thing. Zoom drains your energy (BBC). We kind of know what we need to do to combat the info-intense, focused, and ultimately demoralising way of working. But we forget to.
Harvard Business School recommends five research-based tips to make video calls less exhausting:
- Avoid multi-tasking.
- Build in breaks.
- Reduce onscreen stimuli.
- Make virtual social events an opt-in.
- Switch to phone calls as the default. Or email is that is all that is required; don’t default to Zoom out of habit.
I would like to extend the list to include:
- Use speaker view so you don’t have to look at all those faces.
- Provide an agenda (ideally ahead of the call) with a purpose of the meeting and start and finish times.
- Book in 25- or 55-min calls to guarantee you get a 5-min break.
My favourites are:
- Turn off my own view of myself. It is the best and most stress-releasing thing you can imagine.
- Block out time in your diary for what I call a “buffer” where no-on can book in times or interrupt me.
At a more general level, we need to arrive at Zoom calls with the expectation that we can make this the best call of the day (or the week) for everyone on the call.
Think about how you can engage people and give the call a bit of a sparkle.
I don’t mean that you need to play the clown, but don’t start the call with the “I guess this is another bloody-Zoom-call” mentality that most people project so obviously. Being at work and talking to one another doesn’t have to be such a pain in the backside.
It is time to grab hold of how we are communicating and what messages we are communicating (both consciously and unconsciously).