Alleviating Zoom Fatigue

Zoom fatigue is real. Articles are popping up all over the place about this, because many of us are feeling it on a daily basis. If you’re exhausted after sitting through a string of work calls and hangouts with friends and family, there are valid reasons for this. Between the focus needed to pay attention, the awareness of being looked at by a group of people – in your own home! – and the technology challenges that make even the shortest silence uneasy, work calls on Zoom (or any other videoconference platform) are more challenging for our brains than in-person meetings.

And the aspects of our lives that used to be separate – work, friends, family – are all now happening in the same space – both in virtual terms (on the same screen), and in physical terms (your home – and potentially even the same room within your home). As this article points out, that’s like going to the same bar to meet your friends, but then the same bar again to meet your professors/colleagues, and then the same bar again to see family.

So how can you alleviate some of your Zoom fatigue?

This week’s tip:

Consciously make changes in how you take part in videoconference calls. Try any or all of these ideas to elleviate Zoom fatigue:

  1. Ask if a videoconference is the best way to address the topic at hand. Could it be better handled by email, sharing files with clear notes, instant messaging, a workflow tool, or even… a phone call?
  2. If you are able to, find different spaces to hold different calls. These could be by call type (work calls in one room, friends in another room etc.), or simply adjust your location each time you join a call.
  3. If you run meetings, make video optional. This can take stress away from people thinking about their appearance and what is showing in the background (or whether their virtual background is appropriate!).
  4. Build in transition times between calls for stretches, getting a drink of water, or even just looking out of a window for five minutes to relax your eyes. These buffer times are important to get a mental break and catch a breath.
  5. Consider saying no! If it’s an invitation that you can say no to – that feels like an obligation but that actually isn’t – consider saying that you need a break from videoconferencing and ask to either reschedule or find another way to catch up.

What else are you doing to alleviate Zoom fatigue? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you. As always, you can subscribe to our feed here, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these articles directly in your inbox.

Published by Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson is the founder of Building Bridges Leadership, which works with individuals, teams, and organizations to create authentic community in the workplace. He also writes children's fiction and teaches creative writing.

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