We never expected a pandemic to hit us anytime in our life. When COVID hit us, we slowly became accustomed to it, we found our own ways to deal with it. But, these times can be exhausting at times. While working from home, zoom calls, webinars, and more such terms have become part of our vocabulary, there is the new phrase “Zoom Fatigue”. Everyone has been glued to their computer monitor, throughout the pandemic. Whether you are forced to work from home or had been working from home for years by your choice, all this video conferencing led to an epidemic of “Zoom Fatigue”.
According to the research done by Stanford researchers, Zoom Fatigue is the same as it sounds, which results in burnout, stress, and fatigue because of maintaining continuous connections through video conferencing. But there are also some ways to combat Zoom Fatigue. Thus, in this article, we will cover some of the ways to overcome Zoom Fatigue.
What is Zoom Fatigue?
You were working from home, and attending meetings all your day, life was good. Then comes a phrase that you never heard before “Zoom Fatigue”.
The first thing to notice, it is not only with zoom, but with all the video conferencing platforms whether it be google meet and hangouts, skype, etc. It is quite normal, if you spend time on video calls a lot, you must feel exhausted. Generally speaking, Zoom Fatigue refers to the fatigue caused by back-to-back meetings and jumping from one browser to another for meetings. If you are feeling so, then you probably have a huge schedule of virtual meetings.
What Causes Zoom Fatigue?
- Non-verbal cues are difficult to compile
It is quite difficult to compile non-verbal cues which we rely on in-person, such as body language and tone. The silence, when everyone turns off their mics, makes speakers feel like they are speaking in an empty room. The short delay in the reply makes people seem less involving which results in negative perceptions.
- Watching yourself in the video is tiring
In real-life meetings, we do not have to face ourselves. However, on the video calls, it seems like our face is staring at us along with the colleagues. This makes us anxious about our expressions, the space behind us, and also the performance. Because we are always on the camera, it increases self-awareness, and we are overly critical.
- We can be distracted easily
Even with these back-to-back tiring meetings, we believe that we can do multitasking. So, while on the meeting, there is the temptation in mind to check texts, emails, and everything. But the real fact is that we can not do this multitasking with meetings where meetings already require too much attention.
- Video calls mean restrictions on our walk
If we are continuously glued up with the desk, without moving anywhere, we must feel tired at some point. In offices, at least we can go from the board room to another cabin. However, in the video calls, we just stick to the computer screen and jumping from one to another meeting. Which can easily affect our mental health in the wrong way.
How to combat Zoom fatigue
- Stop Multitasking
If you search for why multitasking is bad, then you will find several results. The most significant reason is that we humans can not focus 100% on more than one thing at a time. So, next time when you join a video call, instead of checking on the mails, pay more attention to the meeting. With this, your brain would not focus on multiple media and you would not feel much tired.
- Take breaks between the calls
Having back-to-back scheduled meetings does not give you a mental, physical or visual break. Just consider face-to-face meetings, although they are continuous you will get time to take a break to grab a coffee. Thus, try to schedule a break in between meetings. As if there is a meeting of 1 hour, let it for 55 minutes. In those extra few minutes, you will have the time to stretch and grab a coffee.
- Reduce video calls by using emails
You can also replace the meetings with text-based communications. For example, you can write a mail for the point you want to do the meeting. Thus, instead of taking long term tiring meeting, you can write a mail which will hardly take 15 minutes. Therefore, the lesser the number of meetings, the lesser you will suffer Zoom Fatigue.
- Work asynchronously
In most cases, recorded video can replace an entire long-term meeting. Also, it consumes less time. For this, you can do a screen recording of your files, which will save you and your colleagues time too.
- Reduce overall screen time
You indeed spend all your time in front of a screen under one roof. However, this is also the fact that you use your phone in your free time too. Some facts say that spending too much time on screens can result in obesity, stress, sleeping disorders. Thus, to reduce overall screen time, you can go for these tips:-
- Watching TV before your bedtime is good, but do not watch in bed. Watching Netflix on the bed will go from two episodes to the whole series. Moreover, slowly add in the habit of reading, rather than watching something on the TV/phone.
- Opt reading in paperbacks instead of PDF or Epub
- Avoid phone meals and also opt for a nutritious diet.
- Make a Screen-free zone to freshen up your mind.
Have Time For Yourself
Work is important, and so is giving yourself time, and relaxing a bit. Reward yourself with some nature, or a short weekend staycation to rejuvenate from the work stress you have been in.
Thus, these were some of the tips to overcome Zoom Fatigue, from which almost every office worker is suffering. So, in these tiring and exhausting times, make yourself more in peace by applying some tips. Make some video call free time in your life which will let you feel less overwhelmed. So, in that free time, it is totally up to you what you want to choose. You can read a book, go outside for a walk or even you can try some exercises.
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