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What Is “Zoom Fatigue” And How To Overcome It

Managing online face time efficiently.

It is totally normal to find yourself tired and worn out from video calls. In fact, there is even a term for it and it’s called “Zoom fatigue”. There are many factors that contribute to this including how our brain has to work harder to process non-verbal cues we rely on in-person, such as tone and body language. Staring at our own faces also makes us hyper-aware of our appearance, and it leads to performative feelings. 

Because you’re always on camera, you have the feeling that you’re always “on” and have to act accordingly. Unfortunately, working from home is here for the long run, and video calls come with it. This makes it very important to find a way to prevent “Zoom fatigue” from taking over your workday. Here are a few ways you can minimise its negative effects.

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Don’t multitask

How often do you find yourself checking your emails or reading WhatsApp messages during an online meeting? You might think that it’s easy to multitask with everything available on one screen but research shows that switching between tasks can cost you as much as 40 percent of your productive time. Close any unnecessary tabs and programmes that might distract you. 

Take A Break

If you are in charge of your own schedule, avoid packing it up with back to back video meetings. Make sure you give yourself a break between calls to decompress. This rule of thumb is applied to face-to-face meetings and it should definitely be applied in this situation. it’s helpful to have at least ten minutes between meetings so you can wrap up one meeting fully before moving onto the next.

Hide ‘Self-View’

One of the things that contribute to our feelings of always being “on” in video calls is the fact that we always see the view from our own camera. To minimise this feeling, turn on your camera, as usual, run a quick check to see if your lighting’s okay, and then hide self-view. Others will see you, but you won’t constantly be reminded of that fact. This can help you to feel less self-conscious on video calls.

Avoid Unnecessary Small Talks

Although ice-breakers are necessary to get the conversation going, some general questions like “how are you?” and “how was your weekend?” can be a bore. A study conducted by the Association For Psychological Science in 2010 showed that small talk led to lower levels of well-being, while deeper conversations left people with greater well-being.

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