Are too many video calls and meetings getting to your head? Are you feeling run down from digital conversation after digital conversation? If so, you’re not alone. With over 300 million users, Zoom is getting a lot of traffic, and as such, we’re getting a whole pile of video calls. But there are some simple tips that psychologists and scientists have found to combat Zoom fatigue. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1) Make Use Of Speaker View
The default view on Zoom is gallery view, where you see all participants in the meeting sitting at their computers. While it is the default view, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best one. However, there is another option to view participants. If you switch your default view to speaker view, you’ll only see the person who’s speaking at the time, in the middle of the screen. This makes Zoom meetings feel much more like in-person conversations. It also reduces the amount of moving things on the screen at the same time, which helps to reduce visual exhaustion. You’ll have an easier time focusing on what’s actually being said, and you’ll be able to feel like you’ve had a real conversation, instead of peering into endless windows of faces. Speaker view makes Zoom conversations so much easier.
2) Invest In A Good Headset
Zoom fatigue is caused by a lot of different factors, but one of the biggest is audio issues on live video calls. When you’re trying to talk to someone, particularly when you’re trying to talk about something important, background noise, echoing and other audio interference can be deeply frustrating. Getting a good headset minimises this. The mic will capture your voice optimally, meaning the other person won’t be asking you to repeat yourself, while the headphones will make sure you can hear them and don’t get distracted. For best results, get noise-cancelling headphones that will well and truly block background noise out, wireless Bluetooth connectivity so your head isn’t tethered to your computer and one that won’t weigh on your head too heavily. You’ll make sure you, and everyone else, can be heard loud and clear.
3) Savor Your Offline Hobbies
A huge contributing factor to Zoom fatigue is looking at a screen and being online, all day, every day. It can be disorienting spending so long online, and it can leave you itching to move if you’re stuck in an office chair. Go for walks, bake a cake, take care of a plant – do something that gets you involved in the physical world around you, gets you moving or engages your senses. This helps refresh your brain and get you thinking about something different. It’s hard to feel Zoom fatigue after an hour of playing with your dog or seeing the results of your latest craft project. Find something to do that isn’t on a screen, and feel your Zoom fatigue melt away.
4) Take Audio-Only Breaks
Following everything that’s happening on a screen, and always looking alert when you’re on camera, can be one of the biggest things that’s causing your Zoom fatigue. To help you and your colleagues, make sure you’re all not always on camera. You may not need cameras on for a lot of conversations, anyway. If you don’t need the cameras for what you’re doing, consider switching them off and communicating via audio only. It’ll feel much more like a phone call, and be a lot less taxing. This will also make sure you don’t have to do extra things before a Zoom call, like making your background look nice, putting on makeup or ensuring you look perky. For best results, try scheduling some of your meetings as phone calls. It’ll feel more natural than looking at a black screen.
5) Block In Break Times On Your Calendar
Zoom fatigue comes from doing too much of one thing. Depending on your work situation, it may be necessary to have a lot of Zoom calls throughout the course of your day. But that doesn’t mean you have to have them all back-to-back. If you can, schedule breaks in between the Zoom calls you have during the day. Use those to get some work done, have a snack or a meal, or just take a breath in between long conversations. This way, you’ll be fresh and ready by the time the next one comes around.
Having lots of video calls and meetings can be tough. But with these simple strategies, you can combat Zoom fatigue and feel fresh once again. It’s important to look after yourself throughout the working day, and this will help you do just that. Implement these strategies now, and make your workday just that bit easier. Happy Zooming!
- “Beat Zoom Fatigue With These 6 Tips”, Forbes, accessed 15th April 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2020/09/29/beat-zoom-fatigue-with-these-6-tips/?sh=6a7962cb2118.
- “Exhausted by too many Zoom meetings? Here’s how to relieve the fatigue”, Philly Voice, accessed 15th April 2021, https://www.phillyvoice.com/zoom-meeting-fatigue-tips-women-stanford-research/.
- “10 Tips to Prevent Zoom Fatigue”, Psychology Today, accessed 15th April 2021, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/202011/10-tips-prevent-zoom-fatigue.
- “The Best Headsets For Video Chatting and Conference Calls”, Rolling Stone, accessed 15th April 2021, https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/electronics/best-headset-video-chat-972835/.