- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Since Covid-19, many lives have been drastically changed. A lot of people have been working from home, getting their work done entirely on the internet and through Zoom. That sounds great, right? But a lot of you are noticing you’re far more tired at the end of the day.
Why is that? You would think since you’re in the comfort of your own home, hanging out in your sweats, you should have all this energy when you get done with your work. That is how it should go, but in fact, you are the victim of Zoom fatigue.
WHAT IS ZOOM FATIGUE?
When working at home, all of your meetings and interactions with your bosses and coworkers are done through video calls. Video calls are far more taxing on our minds than a face to face conversation.
This is because they force us to be more attentive. You have to be actively listening all the time over a Zoom call if you are to absorb the same amount of information as you would in person. This is because we do not communicate the same on a video call versus real life.
If you are in a conference call with your work colleagues, usually all of you are muted unless you’re the one talking. If you miss something, you can’t simply ask the person next to you what the speaker just said. You would have to unmute your mic and disrupt the whole call. That makes listening in a video call very important.
That being said, it’s become common etiquette to constantly look at your screen when talking or listening to someone over a video call to show we are listening. In real life, when having a one on one conversation, we can scan the room a little, possibly look at the speaker’s shirt or pants, and then back to their face occasionally to signify we’re listening.
On a video call, we are forced to look at their face and nothing else. This can be mentally taxing since we usually don’t do this and it makes us feel uncomfortable or tired. Some of you may continue to look at the screen, but switch over to an email or another site, while “listening”, but multi-tasking on the computer is very hard, and it normally ends in you not hearing most of the conversation.
This is all very tiring compared to the old ways of communication, which is why you are tired after work now. Zoom fatigue is very real, but there are ways to prevent it from happening.
HOW TO PREVENT ZOOM FATIGUE
Zoom fatigue isn’t fun for anyone, but there are ways to prevent it from happening so you don’t feel so tired after a long day’s work of video calls.
- Avoid multitasking
- Take breaks
- Hide your camera from your view
- Don’t always default to video calls
Understanding these points and utilizing them in your day to day will help you cure your Zoom fatigue.
We all know it’s hard not to answer emails or texts while in a call with someone, especially since it’s all just a mouse click away, but it’s seriously hurting your performance. You may think cramming as much work into as little time as possible is going to maximize your performance and work speed, but that’s not the case.
You’re stretching your mind thin, by doing ten different things at once, you’re giving about a tenth of the effort you should be to each. Emailing someone while talking to you’re coworker on a call will cause you to not hear half of your colleague’s conversation, nor will you write a very good email.
It’s best to do one thing at a time. It will take less concentration and effort for each, which will be more productive than doing everything at once in the long run. Plus, you’ll feel less drained after completing each task!
It is important to let your mind rest throughout the day. Take a few breaks every now and then, they don’t even have to be long ones. After a call, look away from your screen for like a minute. Get up and stretch for a second, as I’m sure you’re getting sore from sitting at your computer all day.
Small breaks will help you recharge and feel better so you’re ready to go into your next Zoom meeting fresh and energised.
HIDE YOUR CAMERA FROM VIEW
When you’re in a Zoom call, you’re constantly looking at your camera. Every wrinkle on your face, stray hair on your head, you’re seeing it all. Doing this is giving you anxiety and it’s making you focus on how you look to everyone else instead of what’s important.
No one is paying as much attention to the details in your camera as you are, so why are you? You’ll feel a lot better, and be able to pay attention easier if you turn off the option to see your camera during a call.
DON’T ALWAYS DEFAULT TO VIDEO CALLS
If you’re in Zoom calls all day to talk about every little thing on a project, you should consider asking yourself an important question. “Do I need to video call for this?” If you can communicate through email or a text message, do it. If you need to call them, maybe ask to just audio call instead.
Even one or two calls over audio instead of video will help you out tremendously. It will give you a small break from keeping that hyperfocus you need for video calls and will let you feel less fatigued.
Follow those tips to reduce the strain on your mind and make you feel less fatigued. I know some of them may be hard at first, but once you start to get the hang of it, it’ll be easy. Learning to live in the new world of working from home is difficult, so don’t let Zoom fatigue get in your way.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell