Overall, the global population has been through a lot of change over the last two years. It almost feels like an understatement to say that COVID created unprecedented times. While a lot has changed over the last two years and one of those factors has been exposure to the now ubiquitous Zoom meeting.
For millions of people, Zoom calls before the pandemic was simply something that occurred every now and then but was by and large easy to manage. For some jobs that had never been given the opportunity of being long-distance, the occasional video conference was something different and unique on their calendar. Now, that is no longer the case.
This has to lead to recognition of what is known as ‘zoom fatigue’. If you have been wondering how you can help your team at work, or even just you personally fight off zoom fatigue, here are some of the top tips and tricks you can use.
Zoom fatigue, to put it plainly, is the feeling that can come from spending too much time in front of your computer’s camera. This isn’t necessarily unique to the Zoom software but can happen using any kind of video conference calling technology. The issue with Zoom fatigue is actually just the level of fatigue that employees have experienced due to working remotely and still having to interact and communicate in meetings via distance.
Zoom fatigue has been something that has surprised employers as more and more people are starting to notice. With one of the massive changes over the pandemic being decreased social interactions, and the majority of the workforce moving to remote workstyles, this problem started to come up a lot more.
“There is tremendous emotional fatigue for employees who stayed home. You have to be a good spouse, parent, and teacher, and doing all at the same time is impossible. One is hard enough to do well.”–Ralph Izzo, CEO of Utility Public Service Enterprise Group
Zoom fatigue wasn’t something that was expected or foreseen with the pandemic. Yes, to a degree all work-related responsibilities can bear on them a certain amount of tax, but the fatigue associated with handling remote work that still revolved around social interaction was a surprise. The amount of effort it takes to create a space and environment of focus and concentration inside the home, especially for employees who had to develop these routines and adjustments from scratch, was significant.
With the world still getting back to normal, there are still large portions of the workforce that are working remotely. For some businesses, the switch to remote work might continue on, as there are some clear benefits to working remotely. However, people who work from home now are tasked with the challenge of developing healthy ways to combat zoom fatigue and stay productive.
Here are some of the top tips and tricks that can help you, or your employees, stay focused, and productive while working remotely.
“Everyone is uniquely wired a certain way. This shows itself in how we all find our own creativity and self-expression, but it also manifests in how we handle stress and fatigue. If you want to combat Zoom fatigue, you have to take inventory of how it affects you. If you are affected by it uniquely, then you’ll have a unique response to how to deal with it.”-Amanda E. Johnson, Chief Marketing Office, Nailboo
When it comes to finding ways to combat Zoom fatigue, it will take some intentionality on your part. How do you feel, what does fatigue do to you, and how times during the day do you experience it the most?
All of these questions will help you understand how to structure your day around cultivating the energy and focus you need. What works for your co-workers, spouse, or friends may not work for you. Finding out how your body responds and reacts to stress and fatigue is the first step towards understanding how to fight it.
“If you find yourself working from home and in Zoom meetings all day, it can be easy to feel the pressure of a meeting ending and there not being a clean break between that meeting and home. It’s going to look different for everyone, but try and create an environment where you work in the house that’s engaging for your work. Don’t just use the couch, set up a ‘work’ area that you can come into, and most importantly, leave.”-Rob Bartlett, CEO, WTFast
One of the biggest stressors of working remotely is not feeling like you have a space to relax and get away from work. The social aspect of the home can become muddy, and hard to relax in when you have zoom meetings you’ve been taking all day from your living room. Creating a dedicated office space, corner, room, or even closet, can help to put up a boundary for your work-life.
“It may seem like extra work on top of work to create a space where you can engage and disengage from the stress of your meetings, but it will have big benefits. Investing in yourself and your well-being will improve your work quality, and give you the sense of accomplishment you need.”-Joshua Chin, CEO, Chronos Digital
Fatigue is something that every person has to deal with on some level. One of the best ways to combat fatigue is to practice good health. This doesn’t have to be intimidating either. Small things like consistent meals, light exercise, and good sleep can go a long way toward helping you fight fatigue.
“Find out what kind of small, accomplishable rhythms of health work for you. This doesn’t have to be complicated and can look perfectly tailored for you specifically.”-Tom Mohr, Author, and Singer-Songwriter, CEOQuest
“When working remotely can make life feel muddled and hard to compartmentalize, it’s important to hold onto your passions. Invest in the things that make you feel alive, and think critically about ways to protect the things in life you love. Time with your family, your favorite sports. Your passions will drive you, so invest in those well and they will take care of you.”-Isaiah Henry, CEO, Seabreeze Management
One of the most important things you can do to combat zoom fatigue is to take care of yourself and invest in the things that you love. That means really taking advantage of your days off. The truth is, the fatigue that comes from virtual meetings is real so you need to recharge and set yourself up well to take on these workloads.
“Investing well in your time off the clock is one of the best ways to recharge and get ready for what the work day holds.”-Eric Elggren, Co-Founder, Andar
One of the most important things you can do is advocate for yourself when it comes to Zoom fatigue. If you find that no matter what you are doing, you can’t seem to hack it, then maybe you need help to restructure your workload or expectations to better execute your role.
“Fatigue has a funny way of making us feel alone, jaded, and even angry. If you feel like fighting fatigue in the workplace is something you can’t get a grip on, ask for help, don’t suffer in silence.”-Melissa Rhodes, CEO, Psychics 1 on1
“Asking for help when we feel tired can be daunting, but if your personal life and work-life are suffering from fatigue, then you need to recalibrate, it’s just that simple.”-Datha Santomiere, Co-Founder and Vice-President, Steadily Insurance
The most important part about fighting fatigue is that you stay honest about where you are in your journey. Fatigue can, if not checked, grow into a problem that challenges more aspects of your life than just work. Whether you need to add in some healthy habits, change up your workload, or talk honestly to a coworker or employer about your struggles, keeping fatigued at bay is worth the effort.
“The most critical time in any battle is not when I’m fatigued, it’s when I no longer care.”–Craig d. Lounsbrough, Author and Life Coach