Zoom fatigue is now part of the common vernacular, a phrase we’ve all had to deal with in 2020.
At the start of the pandemic, working from home was exciting, we got to be at home in our pajamas all the time, we could create fun zoom backgrounds, and we got to talk to colleagues while we multi-tasked on our computers! But with a year gone by in this world of the pandemic, zoom fatigue is too real.
Zoom fatigue is when you’re more exhausted at the end of your work day than you were before the pandemic, you’re drained from videos calls. This may be because you have to sit still and focused to absorb the information. You’re not in the room with your colleagues and you can’t have multiple conversations at once, you have to just sit there and listen.
We have to work harder to understand body language from just the neck up on a screen, we don’t actually fully know that person! I realized that a friend I met during the pandemic at a zoom book club didn’t know I was 6’3”. He was shocked when he learned my height, whereas with everyone else, it’s just known.
You’re constantly “on.” You have to have energy the entire time, you can’t glance away, or look unengaged, you have to keep nodding and laughing, it’s so tiring.
You’re also having to stare at your own reflection all day, and this constant gaze makes us both tired and it’s super uncomfortable.
If it sounds like you’ve been dealing with zoom fatigue, then we have ideas to help you fight the screen time.
I know, it’s counter intuitive. Why wouldn’t you use this opportunity to keep working, but that means your brain is functioning in so many different ways and by working on multiple problems and zoom calling, you’ll tired out faster.
You Need a Break.
Try to make your meetings only thirty minutes. Constantly looking at a screen can actually make you less productive. If you need to work back-to-back, schedule in a 10 or even 5 minute break so you can get up, stretch, and grab a drink!
Establish a time for yourself when you have no meetings. Make it every morning or set aside half of your day for when meeting can be scheduled and the other half for a zoom free life.
Try the All in Approach.
Can you schedule all of your zoom meetings one day of the week? Or can you have one day where you have no meetings? Give yourself that break!
If there’s a happy hour after work on zoom, don’t go. Don’t feel obliged to go to virtual calls that you don’t need to be at. Say no to the invitation, it’s ok, everyone is struggling with zoom fatigue.
Go Back to the Basics.
Why not try having the conversation on email or picking up the phone. Just try something different so you’re not constantly on a video call.