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How To Combat Zoom Fatigue For Your Remote Team

Lisa MagloffJune 01, 20213 mins read
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Many people find video calls much more draining than in-person meetings. This may be partly because they force us to focus more intently on conversations in order to absorb information, while at the same time making it easier than ever to lose focus. The good news is that there are some different ways to help combat Zoom fatigue in your team and we’re here to talk you through them.

Reduce onscreen stimuli

It can be pretty exhausting having to constantly stare at lots of faces all at the same time. If you’re on a call with five people, it can feel like you’re in five different rooms at once. This makes it difficult for many to maintain focus and process information.

To combat mental fatigue, encourage your team to use plain backgrounds during meetings, or agree as a group to have everyone who is not talking turn off their video. Blurring the background can also help, by making it easier to focus on the people, rather than trying to see what books they have on their shelves. If you opt for blurring, check out XSplit VCam which makes it easy to not only blur but also remove and replace your background.

A person sat in a cafe having a coffee whiule working at the same time, multitaking can contribute to zoom fatigue.
Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Avoid multitasking

While, in theory, an online meeting should make it easier to multitask, the reality is that trying to do several things at once cuts into performance. In fact, research has shown that switching between tasks has strong negative effects on both productivity and memory.

To combat this, encourage your team to maintain focus on the meeting alone by making it an inbox and phone-free zone. Draw in your team’s attention by starting off with a fun activity, such as a mini-quiz. This will help everyone to relax before focusing on the meeting which will ultimately lead to greater collaboration and productivity.

Making your meetings more engaging and informative can really save a lot of time, something XSplit Presenter can help with. Letting you add yourself into your slides so people don’t have to stare at the cold “screen-share” can mix up what the call feels like for the viewer. Also, adding real-time annotations and pointers so you can immediately address questions all save time and more importantly extra meetings!

Establish ‘No online meeting’ zones

One easy way to reduce Zoom fatigue is to simply reduce the volume of Zoom meetings. Switch to email and chat platforms like Slack or Twist, or use Cloud collaboration tools like those in Google’s Workspace or Basecamp, that let teams work collaboratively on the same document simultaneously. Or, just pick up the phone. If possible, designate times or days when there will be no online meetings.

Let’s face it, sometimes it just doesn’t require a meeting and a quick email can communicate all you need. When meetings are essential, however, you can use a calendar assistant like Clockwise, which will automatically optimize your schedule, as well as your team’s, so that you can choose no-meeting blocks that work for everyone.

Alternatively, set aside a portion of the day just for meetings, and mandate the rest of the day as an online meeting-free zone. This way, you can check in for regular meetings, but also make sure that your team has a block of time free for concentrating on their work. This can also help prevent yourself and your team from burning out on any one task.

Someone with their back to the camera in a zoom call trying to combat zoom fatigue.
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

The stand-up call

You have likely heard of stand-up meetings, where the entire meeting is conducted while standing in order to force everyone to keep it short. You can organize stand-up online meetings with the same goal. Doing this has the added bonus of giving the team the opportunity to get the blood flowing for a few minutes which they are likely to welcome.

To help keep it short, you could send out an asynchronous video of the key points ahead of time, for the team to review. This allows you to spend the meeting focusing on questions and sharing ideas, rather than on getting everyone up to speed.

With many people continuing to work from home, the feelings of anxiety and stress arising from videoconferencing are expected to grow. If you want your team working at its peak, it is a good idea to implement some measures now to combat Zoom fatigue.

Lisa MagloffLisa is a freelance writer who has written more than 100 books, specializing in science, tech and education. When not at the keyboard, she can be found messing around with science.More from this Author