If you have been working remotely for quite some time stanzas are you have experienced the term called Zoom Fatigue. The term is self-explanatory but if you are still confused it means being drained after a long day of having video interactions.
Journal of applied psychology pinpointed factors such as lack of belonging & late in the day meetings as contributors to zoom fatigue. But it’s not all bad news there are several ways to zoom fatigue and keep yourself more connected to the world around you let’s take a look:
1. Stop Looking At Yourself And Everybody
Presenting or just chatting with someone human beings are not used to staring at each other’s faces or even themselves. This can make individuals very self-conscious. Worrying about our appearances and stating that faces so up close can physically strain your eyes which can lead to fatigue.
The simple fix is to play with zoom’s videos settings, hide yourself or even minimize your window while listening to the conversations. You don’t have to stare at everybody’s faces.
2. Don’t Default To Video
If a question for communication could be an email or text,make it one. Because non visual communication does not require certain formalities that come with visual communication. Brushing your hair, putting on a decent looking shirt, engaging in small talk can feel like a chore when you are dealing with a screaming baby and trying to get work done. Even when you are asked to join in on a video conference which seems as unnecessary, ask to switch to another medium of communication. You could also express your need for less video time and tell your boss about experiencing zoom fatigue.
3. Muting Is Good
One of the most common expressions during the pandemic where “you are on mute”. When attending meetings at home, the home that you share with your kids, partners, parents, etc is like inviting your office to your house. It’s a very peculiar blending of Church and the state. Constantly worrying about noise from your surroundings getting in the computer screen through to your colleagues can be very tiring, keeping yourself on mute all the time except for when you are speaking reduces this anxiety.
4. Have Zoom-free Days
Citibank recently instituted a ban on Zooming on Fridays. This helps their employees have some time off from their screens. You also might want to suggest it after running it by your coworkers. If everyone is on the same page about too much screen. This could be a good activity to bond over offline. You could also raise the issue with your manager by citing (ehem ehem this article).
5. Basic Etiquette
Ever hop on zoom and saw you are the only one with their camera on? Yeah, it’s awkward. One of the main contributors to zoom fatigue is not knowing what your colleagues are up to when you get on call. Whether you should turn on your camera or your audio or what ?. To minimize discomfort on calls, a standard etiquette emailed to their entire company or department can be a great call. If every call is different, send in the etiquette for that call in the calendar invite. When everyone is on the same page its easier to communicate and run efficiently.
While the exact approach to deal with zoom fatigue will be different for every company. The ones mentioned above will certainly help you tread the way. Anything to help you feel that you belong leads to alleviation of exhaustion. Let us know what ways have you or your company implemented to combat zoom fatigue.