Winning the war on Zoom fatigue

Winning the war on Zoom fatigue

Ah, Zoom. So convenient. So easy. So annoying.

Since the early miracle days of Zoom and other videoconferencing services, it has become, for many of us, the go-to communication tool. 

Add to that Zoom’s usefulness not only a method for online meetings but also one for education – webinars abound – and even family get-togethers, and it seems like we are spending a lot of time facing little boxes. (For tips on how to look good on Zoom meetings, check out my Sphere column from last month.)

However as convenient as it is, Zoom can present issues when your life is a series of chained-together Zoom calls with few breaks, with the dangers of remaining seated all day, every day.

Some of us are feeling neck and back pain from all that screen time, dry eyes and finding that our concentration isn’t what it used to be.

Additionally, unlike in-person meetings, there’s no whispering to your colleague next to you at the board room table, no exchanging glances with the person across from you. Yawns must be stifled and even doodling is not allowed. You have to always be ‘on.’

But if we all agree Zoom is here to stay, how can we win the war on Zoom fatigue? Here are some of my thoughts that help me get through:

  • If you can avoid it, don’t book back-to-back meetings. Give yourself time to get up, stretch, maybe do some exercises, have a cup of tea/coffee or even get outside for some fresh air.
  • When on Zoom, turn off self-view. Studies have shown that while on Zoom calls we tend to stare at ourselves. That can get boring! Rest your eyes by looking around rather than staring at the screen – and yourself.
  • Try standing up for some meetings. It will be invigorating and refreshing, not to mention good for you!
  • Take the cue from some corporations which have instituted ‘No Zoom Fridays.’
  • Some clients may even prefer an old-fashioned phone call:  quicker to set up, handier if you or the client are on the road, and no pressure to look great for the camera!