The human mind understands the importance of having other people around and to some degree enjoys interpersonal interactions. When your mind sees and hears other people, but realises they are not physically present there, it can cause a sense of dissonance or disconnection. This disconnect can be jarring to deal with and difficult to adapt to – and can eventually lead to high levels of stress. We have five research-based tips that can help make video calls less exhausting. Work from home fatigue is a state where employees grow weary of remote work. This mindset can cause decreased productivity, lack of motivation, bad mood, and a sense of loneliness.

how to avoid zoom fatigue while working from home

Preparing for the day like you’re going to work can make you feel better about the day. And of course, if you can, having in-person bonding time will always beat screentime. Let’s face it, anyone will get fatigued if a meeting drags on for 75 minutes. Creating an agenda beforehand will help ensure that your meetings are purposeful, on target, and don’t last any longer than they need to. Because of this pressure, try mixing in more “camera off” meetings, where everyone is allowed to turn their cameras off for a portion or the full duration of the meeting. You might also consider making a rule at your company where each employee can choose whether to have their camera on or off during meetings.

The downside of video calls

Video conferencing has become a valuable tool to have in your business tech arsenal as it has replaced physical office spaces but it is getting tiresome for users that have to sit through endless virtual meetings. Zoom fatigue can present itself through symptoms like eye strain, headaches or increased anxiety and disengagement during video calls. This fatigue can also be caused by any form of video conferencing software, including Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more. Changing your video conferencing habits is a great place to begin conquering Zoom fatigue. For example, relying on other methods of communication or scheduling time blocks on your calendar.

Next time you have a Zoom meeting, try enlarging the face of whoever’s talking. This way, you can focus all of your attention on one person – idiosyncrasies and all – instead of distracting yourself with the minutiae of the meeting. Eliminating meetings may sound nice right about now, but we need meetings to stay connected and productive.

Ways to Minimize Zoom Fatigue

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As you hang up your headphones, you notice your back is stiff, your eyes are sore, and you feel energetically and emotionally drained. You can change the settings on Zoom or whatever video conference call services you use, so your own video is not visible to you. Or, someone was speaking and you interrupted but you didn’t stop immediately. Zoom calling is happening in real time, sometimes with lengthy delays and that is one reason why making video calls is frustrating. By installing our free app, you can automatically mute background noise no matter what communication app you’re using. In a physical meeting, you would all be in the same room and it would be easier to identify distracting noises.

Vary Day-to-Day Tasks

To combat mental fatigue, encourage people to use plain backgrounds (e.g., a poster of a peaceful beach scene), or agree as a group to have everyone who is not talking turn off their video. Finally, “Zoom fatigue” stems from how we process information over video. On a video call the only way to show we’re paying attention remote working fatigue is to look at the camera. But, in real life, how often do you stand within three feet of a colleague and stare at their face? This is because having to engage in a “constant gaze” makes us uncomfortable — and tired. In person, we are able to use our peripheral vision to glance out the window or look at others in the room.

We tell ourselves that we can easily handle this kind of multitask activity, but science suggests otherwise. To do different kinds of work like this, we have to turn certain parts of our brains on and off — and switching between tasks can reduce our effective productivity by as much as 40 percent. Changing your video conferencing habits can help you combat Zoom fatigue. With a few small tweaks, your Zoom calls can become a more pleasant and less intimidating experience. You may want to agree with your fellow participants to turn the video off from time to time.

Give Yourself a Break– Literally and Figuratively

But with a little structure, more breaks, and less multitasking, you’ll become a much more focused small business owner and can rid yourself of that awful Zoom Fatigue. As the problem of Zoom Fatigue becomes more widely recognized, many organizations are switching from 30-minute or hour-long video conferences to 20-minute and 50-minute meetings, respectively. This gives participants a chance to take a much-needed break and a chance to switch off and reset mentally. Even recreational gatherings like a “virtual happy hour” can become stressful under these conditions. Suppose the video conference panel is sitting on a full desktop or browser window and other tabs and activities. In that case, there’s the constant temptation to take care of other business while “listening” to the meeting, such as answering email or Slack and social media conversations.

It can also make you less effective in your work, as it affects your ability to focus on the tasks at hand. Because of this, you want to make sure Zoom is working for you, and helping you be more productive in your workday, rather than against you. For example, if someone looks at something off-screen, we don’t know the context and therefore don’t understand why they’re distracted.

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