Zoom fatigue: Overcoming video call burnout
Updated: Mar 11
Zoom fatigue is a very recent phenomenon borne from the depths of home working life. People are experiencing exhaustion and overall burnout due to constant video conferencing. This isn’t purely within the office environment either, as the intermittent lockdowns force us to remain online for all events. Delayed responses leave negative perceptions, we’re hyper-aware of our faces on the screen and any connection failure or technical issues frustrates us. These leave us all feeling tired, angry, and stressed. So what can we do to combat zoom fatigue?
Establish blocks of time without meetings or designate a meeting-free day
You will know when you feel like you can’t commit to meeting after meeting, so schedule your calendar to coincide with this. Block out an hour or so of your day to get on with your work uninterrupted. Talk to your co-workers about how they are feeling and see if they feel the same. Come to an agreement on a day that could potentially be free of any meetings. A day could make all the difference.
Choose text communication if able
The saying, ‘this could have been sent in an email’ might be very relevant to your situation and be a cause of your fatigue. Tiring from zoom calls that weren’t even productive could massively affect your mood. Slack is an effective chat platform to send messages quickly to the people who need them. Or simply having a colleague on speakerphone as you work on a Google doc together. Alternating your choice of communication could break up the endless video calls but still have you productively working with your team.
Create an agenda so you are using the shortest amount of time optimally
Zoom fatigue could also be produce from video calls going on much longer than needed or anticipated. To keep it feeling productive and rewarding, have an agenda ready to keep meetings on track in a timely manner. Sharing the agenda with people beforehand will allow everyone in the call to know what will be discussed and can have answers prepared in time. Having set and achieved goals and the zoom call over quicker will do a lot to boost your mood.
It seems obvious but it does do a world of good to have time between meetings to decompress. In-person meetings would have that break to move rooms or use the facilities. We all need the same minute when working remotely too. Also, section off your lunch break to go outside and take a walk. A lot of us are guilty of eating lunch at the desk. Looking away from your screen might just give you the energy boost to tackle the rest of the working day.
Many of us may be remote indefinitely, even after lockdown has passed. Companies are looking to flexible working, dividing up the week between the office and home. We need to set boundaries that were normal in the office; to have a minute between meetings and lunch breaks away from the screen. To be equally as productive, it’s important to allow yourself and your laptop time to recharge.