How often have you felt completely drained, sometimes after less than an hour, while participating in a virtual meeting?
Studies have shown that there are some basic reasons this happens:
- You’re working harder to read non-verbal cues, the same cues you would easily pick-up on or subconsciously “feel” during an in-person meeting.
- Being on camera can make you feel the need to be “performative” to participate.
- Silence can be anxiety-inducing, sparking concerns about technology glitches.
- Work and home life have become blended, adding a different level of stress and distraction.
- We all crave interpersonal connection (to varied degrees, depending on our personality) and virtual meetings don’t fulfill that need to the same extent as physically being together.
Here are five simple tips that can help you zap “Zoom fatigue”:
- Practice “checking in” versus “checking on” team members. This demonstrates caring and empathy and can help to alleviate the stress of trying to read how your team members are doing.
- Encourage participants to minimize the virtual meeting application so that the video frames of their team members are lined up just below their webcam. This can improve the sense of eye connect. If the app allows, turn off the “self view” without shutting down your camera. This can alleviate the feeling of being “on camera.”
- Close all other applications to minimize distractions from texts, WhatsApp, email, Slack or other channels that may ping or pop-up on your screen. The notifications will still be there when your meeting has wrapped-up and can get your full attention then.
- Create breaks at 45-minute intervals that give you and your team a chance to refresh and reflect on the meeting’s content.
- During the breaks, give people time to stretch, walk and refill their water. Movement can help boost creativity.
Online meetings aren’t going away – and can be a valuable tool, if we’re thoughtful about the way in which we use them. Let us know if we can help you design better virtual meetings. Just get in touch with us.
Thanks for being involved.