‘Zoom Fatigue’ Is Real — Here’s How to Cope (And Make It Through Your Next Meeting)
Zoom Fatigue – Have you ever walked out of your last Zoom meeting of the day and felt completely drained?
If so, you are not alone. Many people experience zoom fatigue (sometimes called virtual fatigue). This refers to the tiredness you feel after any type of video call or conference call.
This isn’t an official diagnosis, but zoom fatigue is very real. Krystal Jagoo, MSW, RSW notes that this feeling is “similar to what we think of as fatigue or exhaustion.”
Jagoo added that this is largely due to the “increasing academic demand for video conferencing.”
Even if you’re already using modern technology, the COVID-19 pandemic has given new meaning to the phrase “digital world.”
Things like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime have certain advantages: they allow people to communicate face-to-face safely, and they make some workplaces more accessible to people with chronic illnesses. .
But like all good things, it comes at a price.
Here are more details on how zoom fatigue manifests itself and how to deal with it.
How to recognize Zoom Fatigue?
Work fatigue is nothing new, a reliable source, especially for people working in the service sector.
In addition to normal work pressures, the pandemic has taken a toll on almost everyone’s mental health.
However, most of us are expected to carry on as if nothing happened. The pandemic has affected many lives. Of course, this also affects our work interactions.
Traditional fatigue symptoms include lethargy and general fatigue, as well as decreased performance.
Important symptoms of fatigue may include:
- Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty maintaining relationships and being with loved ones.
- Frustration and irritability in relationships with peers
- Physical symptoms are reliable sources such as muscle tension, pain, fatigue, and insomnia.
Zoom fatigue manifests itself in a similar way, the main difference being that it actually contributes to general fatigue. It is also often associated with the excessive use of virtual meetings.
Avoiding, canceling or rescheduling a video conference?
Have you noticed that you are very stressed or tired after an appointment?
Has the transition to Zoom meetings affected your ability to multitask or handle work responsibilities?
These are all symptoms that can indicate zoom fatigue.
Why Virtual Meetings Are So Boring or exhausting?
It’s not just your imagination. A number of factors make virtual meetings legally inconvenient.
Your brain needs to work harder
You have to work harder to understand people’s expressions and tones through a computer screen.
Although it’s not something you’ll notice, chatting with Zoom takes more effort than it does in real life.
“When engaging in such interactions, people must create the illusion of eye contact by mentally processing their verbal communication,” Jagoo said.
Depending on the technology, there is still a slight delay in verbal responses during a virtual connection. This can affect your ability to interpret the words of the person you are talking to.
You are expected to “on”
In addition to concerns about pandemics, working from home has some very strange expectations.
Some companies require their employees to dress like they are going to work. Others prevent employees from calling their rooms (not ideal if you live in a small studio or have roommates).
And then there are the occasional slack calls that pop up unannounced from time to time.
It’s one thing to pop into a conference room when you’re already in the office, but it’s quite another to leave the house suddenly for an impromptu team meeting.
Disruption in family life
Because of some of these expectations, parts of your home life come up during dating. This may seem a little embarrassing or impressive (although your boss is probably going through the same thing).
You need your team to attend a budget meeting while your dog is barking, your son is crying, and your teenage son is arguing over who is wearing controllable headphones. Is.
Balancing work with your full life is hard enough, but working from home adds a new level of complexity.
How to deal with Zoom Fatigue
Good or bad, video calling (and working from home) has always been around. Fortunately, there are things you can do to regain control and not feel too tired after a Zoom meeting.
Feel OK to tap out
There will always be encounters you can’t miss, but there are also ones you can skip (or watch the footage later).
When you need to video chat, Jagoo suggests taking breaks when possible.
If you feel like you’re starting to get lost or disconnected, “I’ll turn my video off because it’s easier to listen to” can help.
You don’t have to be embarrassed to just say that you need to turn off the video when you change rooms.
There’s a lot of pressure to be busy with every meeting and task because staying at home means “not working,” but we all know that’s not the case.
Schedule a Zoom meeting for things you want to do
The hardest part of Zoom meetings is the expectation of professionalism.
You may dread looking at Zoom notifications simply because you associate them with trying to clear the background, force a smile, or listen to someone fix an internet connection problem.
Having fun with Zoom – chatting with family, watching movies with your best friends, learning new crafts – can help reduce this negative association with Zoom.
Also, it’s a good idea to schedule time to hang out with friends today.
Your friends and family understand the stress you’re under and may agree to be kind to each other.
Turn off the video when not needed
Every desktop is a little different, but if you can turn off your camera a few times, do it!
If you have multiple tasks to do at once (folding laundry, breastfeeding, cooking dinner), turning off the video will not only help you maximize your time, but it will also keep you on the screen. It will also protect from being viewed in a certain way. .
Jagoo also suggests taking some time to “assess the need for video conferencing.” Does an audible bell work well?
Find the format that works best for you
If you have little control over your schedule, try to figure out what works best for your schedule and your mental health.
You may be better off getting all of your mandatory Zoom meetings at the beginning of the week. Or maybe you want to spread it out over the week. This way no particular day will be overloaded.
You can set a limit so that your work calendar is not available for appointments before 12:00. m
Enjoy the little things you really have more control over because you work from home.
The Bottom Line
Burnout at work is a common problem. The ongoing global health crisis is certainly not helping the cause.
Zoom meetings (and other work-at-home essentials) may remain, so consider ways to keep track of your work and focus on your well-being.
If you’re a manager or running your own business, you can help your employees by adding something else for free. Keep communication channels open and be willing to be flexible with your expectations.