tips-to-combat-zoom-fatigue

Yes, it’s a thing now! —the exhaustion you feel from the increase in video conferencing demands that a global pandemic has created for many of us given the need for social distancing.

Just as “Googling” is akin to any web search, the term “zooming” has become ubiquitous & a generic verb to replace videoconferencing.

The findings in a 2008 journal article by Ferran C demonstrated that video conferencing communication increased the cognitive demands of participants. Not only do people have to coordinate the conference call, they need to create the illusion of eye contact through technology while still trying to process the other person’s words in the conference call. All of these activities combined can be mentally exhausting.

We have jotted down a few tips that might help you combat the fatigue:

Always have an agenda : For all video calls you participate in, insist that the organizer identify a clear purpose for the meeting and provide an agenda of what you’ll cover. It’ll make the calls you keep more efficient and more productive.

Avoid Multitasking : Trying to do more things at once hinders performance. Switching between tasks can cost you as much as 40 percent of your productive time. The next time you’re on a video call, close any tabs or programs that might distract you (eg your inbox), put your phone away, and stay present.

Build in breaks : Look away from your screen every now & then during long calls. If you are on an hour-long video call, make it okay for people to turn off their cameras for parts of the call.

Reduce onscreen stimuli : It’s proven by research that we often times tend to look at ourselves in a video, so it is best to hide yourself from view. You can also encourage others in your team to use plain backgrounds to combat mental fatigue because your brain is processing these visual environments at the same time.

Switch Formats : If the video call isn’t important or long enough to warrant a video call, try sending an email, setting up a document for collaboration, or having a phone call instead.

For external calls, avoid defaulting to video, especially if you don’t know each other well : A video call is fairly intimate and can even feel invasive in some situations. For example, if you’re asked to do a career advice call and you don’t know the person you’re talking to, sticking to phone is often a safer choice. If your client Face Times you with no warning, it’s okay to decline and suggest a call instead.