Zoom is the pandemic’s success story. As lockdowns around the world closed offices and made working from home compulsory for vast sections of the working population, businesses and individuals grasped for a way to carry on at a distance.
Lockdown removed the luxury of choice for many of us and whether it’s family reunions, pub quizzes or office meetings, Zoom enables us to get together quickly without being in the same room – and there’s a good chance that its here to stay. Along with that though is a very real downside and its called Zoom fatigue, which seems to be taking its toll on some us.
Many professionals now dread turning on their camera and taking part in meetings – a regular fixture that has only increased as remote working has continued. That being said, there are ways around this common issue for employers to ensure that all Zoom calls are positive, helpful and most importantly, not draining for those taking part.
There’s nothing more irritating than being invited to a meeting that you have no input in. If someone has been invited to a call, ensure that you, as the moderator, divide the time and allocate space for each person to give their input. Communication has never been more important, and without the social interaction of actually seeing colleagues face to face, it’s easy to feel isolated and undervalued.
Always have an agenda
Nothing makes a video call drag on like the person who called it having no idea what they actually want to accomplish. For all video calls you participate in, insist that the organiser identify a clear purpose for the meeting and provide an agenda of what you’ll cover. It’ll make the calls you keep more efficient and more productive for all involved.
Build in breaks
Take mini breaks from video during longer calls by minimising the window, moving it to behind your open applications, or just looking away from your computer completely for a few seconds now and then. Your colleagues probably understand more than you think – it is possible to listen without staring at the screen for a full thirty minutes. This is not an invitation to start doing something else, but to let your eyes rest for a moment.
For days when you can’t avoid back-to-back calls, consider making meetings 25 or 50 minutes (instead of the standard half-hour and hour) to give yourself enough time in between to get up and move around for a bit. If you are on an hour-long video call, make it okay for people to turn off their cameras for parts of the call.
There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down ready for your Zoom meeting and finding that technical issues delay the start of the meeting. Microphone and screen problems can all be avoided by doing a test run before hand to ensure all equipment is working correctly and a professional, prompt start is achieved.
Pick up the phone
Not all meetings require actual face time – sometimes a phone call is just as sufficient, if not more so. Phone calls can be taken from anywhere which allows for much more flexibility. You don’t have to get dressed up or put on makeup for a phone call, and with all the added stress of working from home, that can be a really nice bonus.
With Zoom here to stay, the good news is that a few tweaks to your virtual meetings drastically reduces Zoom fatigue. So don’t let your team’s productivity stagnate, give them the tools and resources needed to combat Zoom fatigue, and get things done. And remember, no one can see you from the waist down, so embrace those fluffy slippers and enjoy!
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