As we adjust to the new normal of working online, there are always going to be growing pains. Shifting meetings online is a necessary step, but it’s leading to what many are calling “Zoom Fatigue.” According to the BBC, zoom fatigue manifests because it’s harder to intuit social cues over a messaging app, which requires more concentration than having a face-to-face interaction does. But there are also ways to combat this 21st century scourge. If you’re planning on hosting a lot more online meetings in the coming months, read on. We’ve got our top suggestions for combating video chat burnout below.
When you do have a Zoom meeting, give it your full attention
Getting work done on the sly in a digital meeting is always tempting. However, some of the best advice to ensure you remain alert and focused during a day full of video calls is to…well, be alert and focused! Multitasking during a Zoom meeting might get you ahead on that project, but it can also lead to you feeling detached and checked out. Truth told, the human brain isn’t really designed to multitask. If you’re expected to be on a call, try to ensure that you give it your full attention. Some tricks for remaining checked in are:
Use speaker view instead of grid view so you can focus on the person speaking
Practice active listening by asking questions and getting clarification for unclear points—if you’re on a call with a large number of participants, write your questions down for later
Change your scenery—taking a Zoom call from a place with minimal distractions can help you avoid the temptation to tune out
Remember that Zoom meetings are still meetings
As we adapt to a new normal of working remotely, old office habits will die hard. It’s tempting to schedule a Zoom meeting to mimic the feeling of stopping by a coworker’s desk. However, it’s important to note that Zoom meetings are still meetings, and imply more preparation and higher stakes than just stopping by someone’s desk to ask a question. When scheduling Zoom meetings, consider some of the following:
What’s the agenda?
How many action items to talk through?
After this meeting, will I and my coworkers be equipped to move forward immediately with the work the meeting concerned?
A fruitful meeting should clarify objectives for a project and empower the attendees to push forward on completing the work. Sure, it can be frustrating and distracting to tie up loose ends via email, but calling a Zoom meeting just to cut down on the natural back-and-forth of office work can also be distracting and fatiguing.
Combat Zoom fatigue with opt-in social events and on-demand webinars
As an events company, you can take it from us: “mandatory fun” often contains a lot of the former and not much of the latter. Remote work can be isolating and draining, and virtual social events can seem like a great way boost morale and get a little human contact at the end of a long day of staring at a computer screen. But when you schedule these events, they should always be opt-in. You should always make it explicit that everyone is invited, but not obliged to join. At the end of a long day of calls, you might just need to turn your brain off for a little while.
For webinars, you can achieve a similar effect by making them on-demand. While this does take away from the “You Had To Be There” factor of a one-time webinar or presentation, giving clients content that fits into their schedule will be greatly appreciated. By letting your guests pick when they’d like to view a webinar, you can avoid losing leads to Zoom fatigue and video chat burnout.
Take breaks and reduce onscreen stimuli
Although you should strive to give meetings your full attention, it’s also important to know when you need a break. The Harvard Business Review recommends reducing the amount of onscreen stimuli you have during a meeting to prevent burnout. You can achieve this in a lot of ways, from hiding your own video feed to agreeing beforehand to all use the same Zoom background to cut down on the stimuli of seeing everyone’s different home office setups. You can even make your calls voice-only if you don’t know the client you’re Zooming with that well. There are lots of options for reducing on-screen distractions, and any of them will help you feel prepared for a day filled with videoconferencing
However it’s also important to take a break and get away from your computer as well. Give yourself permission to look away from your screen or hide your video call. This can provide a much-needed break from the action when you’re taking calls all day. You can even consider scheduling meetings for 20 and 50 minute blocks instead of the full hour or half-hour. This gives you a built-in break to get away from the screen. Now that we’re conducting so much business online, taking breaks and refocusing are more important than ever.
This is uncharted territory for a lot of marketers. We want you to know that we here at Kapow are dedicated to finding unique solutions for your events. Get in touch with Kapow’s event experts now to book virtual social events and receive additional options that are certain to delight. Be certain to check back frequently for more marketing tips, tricks and strategies.
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