The use of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams has become nonnegotiable as businesses shifted to a work from home setup due to the pandemic. These apps enable employees to collaborate even if they are working remotely from each other.
But after many months of attending video meetings, remote workers can feel less engaged and burned out, falling into a condition also known as “Zoom fatigue.”
What is Zoom fatigue, and what causes it?
Zoom fatigue, also known as virtual meeting fatigue, is the feeling of tiredness, burnout, or anxiety associated with attending too many video meetings. Though not a medical condition, the phenomenon is still recognized by many psychologists today
But what exactly causes Zoom fatigue? For one, video meetings require the brain to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, tone, pitch, and body language. Slight audio or video delays can also make conversing more difficult. Becoming overly aware of being watched can also add to the stress.
However, video conferencing platforms aren’t solely to blame for the fatigue many people feel these days. Quarantining or working from home can make it look like we are forced into attending video meetings. And because our personal and professional lives are all happening in the same space, we feel more tired than ever.
How to reduce the risk of burnout during remote meetings
1. Try other platforms first
Ask yourself if the matter at hand requires a video meeting. If you can discuss it via email or a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel, then do so.
Video platforms like Loom and Soapbox can also help reduce the need for video meetings. These tools allow users to record a message and send it to others to view at their own convenience. If you need to show how to do a certain task, for instance, you can use Loom to record a video of your screen and yourself.
You can also use Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace for real-time collaboration. These allow you to collaborate with employees on a document without disrupting their workflow by getting them on a video call.
2. Check in on your team
One of the best things you can do to help employees feel less burned out is to give them emotional support.
For example, you can start every meeting by checking in on how everyone is doing with their personal and professional lives. Doing so can create a sense of stability, trust, and camaraderie for everyone in the team.
3. Set an agenda and stick to it
Nothing is more frustrating than being in a video meeting with an unclear agenda, as this wastes time and worsens Zoom fatigue.
To ensure your meetings stay on track, require the organizer to send out a detailed agenda at least a few hours before the actual meeting. Doing so helps employees know what the meeting is all about, how long it will last, and if they need to prepare anything.
Make sure that the meeting will end as soon as all concerns have been addressed, and prevent participants from going beyond the planned topics.
4. Take breaks in between meetings
Attending too many Zoom meetings in one day can worsen Zoom fatigue. Avoid this by scheduling a 20- or 30-minute break in between meetings. This gives you ample time to grab a quick snack, have a cup of coffee, use the restroom, or relax before your next meeting.
If taking breaks isn’t possible, try cutting video meetings short. Instead of holding 1-hour meetings wherein the speaker beats around the bush, try discussing the urgent topics as soon as every participant has settled in. By shortening your meetings, you give your employees more time to do their work and take care of personal matters.
5. Have meeting-free days
If many people in your team are experiencing Zoom fatigue, consider designating one or two meeting-free days, or having only one day per week for all meetings. This way, you can prevent getting burned out from attending too many video meetings.
Another way to conduct effective video meetings is to guarantee that your IT infrastructure is performing at an optimal level. Safebit Solutions’ Managed IT services will ensure that your devices run smoothly and are secured from cyberattacks, so you have peace of mind while working remotely. To learn more about how outsourcing to us can help, download our FREE eBook today.