June 24, 2020

5 Simple Tips to Combat Zoom Fatigue

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The term “Zoom Fatigue” is quickly gaining traction on social media and across the internet. And rightly so. Following the rapid adoption of Zoom as the go-to option for video conferencing amongst distributed teams, many users are beginning to experience the fallouts of spending so much time on the app. Little wonder, Google searches for “zoom fatigue” have skyrocketed in the last few months.  

zoom fatigue

Zoom fatigue, although named after the popular Zoom app, is a moniker for how all the various video conferencing apps – including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Webex – tax our minds and bodies. 

From exhaustion, sore eyes, frustration to double vision, there are many symptoms of zoom fatigue. These signs often differ from person to person, and you’ll need to keep tabs on your body to find out if you’re beginning to show symptoms. Read on to find simple tips to help you combat Zoom fatigue. 

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Virtual meetings are not meant to be endless meetings. You’ll do yourself a great disservice if you schedule back to back meetings without inserting appropriate breaks. 

If you have a meeting for 1 hour, take a ten-minute break before you join the next one. If such time-outs are not available for your meeting schedules, contact your supervisors, and request for breaks. During these breaks, walk around and exercise your body a bit. Get some water or coffee and clear your head. 

Even during meetings, you can take “eye breaks.” If your video doesn’t have to be on, switch to audio mode. This strategy can help you rest your eyes and stop the mental drain of staring at a screen for hours on end. 

You’ve probably heard this saying, “If it can be an email, don’t schedule a meeting.” Thankfully, from phone calls to text messages, several other communication methods are as effective as video calls if not better. 

For instance, a study by some researchers found that during phone calls, users communicated more precisely than during video calls. Before you set up a video meeting, make sure that it’s necessary. If you just need to send over some information or make an inquiry, there’s no use setting up a video call. A phone call or an email easily suffices. Avoid setting up impromptu video meetings as much as possible. Give every participant a heads up way before time and give them a preview of what is to be discussed or done during every meeting. 

 

To run your team, you can opt for a mix, say, of emails, Slack, Trello, Zoom can do the magic instead of strictly sticking to a video call approach. So, video calls are not always a must. You can always opt for other communication methods without losing productivity. 

You’d be surprised at how many people look at themselves for minutes on end during video calls. Perhaps, you’re not surprised because that’s what you often do. 

While there’s nothing wrong with staring hard and admiring yourself, it has potential fallouts. For starters, it can distract you and take your mind off the meeting. While your supervisor is going on about the need to increase productivity, you may be thinking of how that acne makes you look horrible. 

Turning off the self-view feature and putting the speaker in view helps you focus on the meeting and rid yourself of any worries. There are two ways to do this in Zoom. First off, you can hide your video. While other users can see your video, you can’t see it, and the speaker will be in view. Alternatively, you can turn off your video entirely. This strategy would allow you to listen to using your device audio. So you can still participate in the meeting, albeit without the hassle of trying to put up a perfect appearance. 

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You’re in a Zoom meeting. Everything is going well until you see that dreaded message: “your internet bandwidth is low.” A few minutes later, your connection ends as you see your app trying to reconnect. When it eventually reconnects, you’re left wondering what was said in your absence. Trying to catch up in such a scenario can be incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately, countless other things can go wrong during a Zoom meeting. 

For starters, every participant must be well-primed on how to use Zoom, Google Meet, or any other video conferencing app you intend to use. Of course, they don’t need to know everything about the app, but familiarity with the vital tools is essential. That would ensure everyone wouldn’t have to wait for one person to figure out how to turn their mics off and on. 

Secondly, invest in proper equipment and accessories for your computer or phone. For instance, there’s no way you can hold your phone for a 1 to 2-hour meeting. You’ll undoubtedly get tired, and your hands will start hurting. Make sure your internet connection is secure and won’t fail you just when you need it. 

Almost 7 hours. 

That’s how much the average person spends in front of a screen, according to research. Terrifying, isn’t it? Well, with remote work nudging aside office work, face to face interactions have significantly reduced, and daily screen time is bound to increase. 

So, if you’re part of the Work From Home (WFH) force, you need to cut down on additional screen time. Instead of reading on a tablet, read a hardcopy book. Instead of watching a movie, take a walk, and meet people face to face. Put the gamepads aside and spend time with family. A balance of virtual and face to face interactions is crucial for your psychological and emotional health. 

It turns out Zoom, and other video conferencing apps can be taxing – both physically and psychologically. However, there are measures to beat this condition, often referred to as Zoom Fatigue. In this article, we have discussed five of those tips. While not exhaustive, these tips can help you get started on having a fulfilling Zoom experience. If you have any comments or other suggestions, share them below. 

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