Managing Smart: Managing Zoom Fatigue

Thursday, March 18, 2021

By now, we’ve all felt it, whether we realized it or not.

After months of almost constant interaction with both colleagues and loved ones via electronic screens, many of us feel a bit “Zoom weary.”

As stated in this recent Stanford University study, Zoom fatigue is actually a thing. There are, however, ways to combat it. Read the following tips highlighted and summarized in the study based on its findings as well as other useful suggestions below:

  • Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact can be highly intense and can be exhausting. In some people, this can trigger a kind of flight response.

Solution: Take Zoom out of the full-screen option and reduce the Zoom window relative to the monitor. You may also consider a wireless keyboard to allow for an increase in the physical space between you and the electronic grid.

Supervisors may also ask themselves whether reducing the number of required meetings is possible. You can consider asking yourself: Can this information be communicated via email rather than via a Zoom meeting?

Avoid multi-tasking and stay present. This will increase productivity and reduce screen fatigue.

  • Seeing yourself during video chats constantly is fatiguing; the equivalent of walking around with a mirror in front of your face.

Solution: Tired users should use the “hide self-view” button, which can be accessed by right-clicking on your own photo.

Also, turning the camera off periodically during meetings can help give you a brief rest.  And don’t forget to take breaks during meetings in order to reduce fatigue.

  • Video chats can drastically reduce mobility, which is unnatural and make us feel “trapped.”

Solution: Consider taking the meeting outside. If your job allows it, take your cell phone and walk around your neighborhood. If the nature of your work or meeting do not allow for this, consider whether walking or pacing the room is a possible.

You may also consider placing a camera farther away from the screen so that you can pace and doodle in virtual meetings.

To watch a video on how to avoid Zoom fatigue that you may enjoy or share with employees, click on the video below:

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