Written By: Girl Tyler
While Zoom fatigue isn’t listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) yet, it’s a real thing that’s causing serious mental health issues for remote workers. The term surfaced at the height of the pandemic and it isn’t just limited to Zoom. The emotional tax of nonstop video conferencing using all platforms can be too high.
Energy is everything. Meeting after meeting, we become more and more exhausted staring at our screen. The mental gymnastics of having to read social cues through a Wi-Fi connection, when people are hard enough to read in person, or trying to decode body language in tiny boxes, is a chore in and of itself. There are some companies with strict Zoom policies in place including
dress codes or no meetings in the bedroom (word to Silk!). You can follow the rules while giving a gentle push back.
Minimizing the number of video calls during the week may be a challenge, especially if you work in a collaborative position. Focus on the factors that you can control and try these 4 ways to reduce Zoom fatigue:
Request an Agenda
Reclaim your time by knowing early on which items will be discussed during the meeting. While they may have good intentions, there is always that one oblivious coworker who loves to share personal stories. An agenda will minimize side chatter and help you (politely) keep everyone on task, which will ultimately shorten the meeting.
Turn Off Your Camera
This one is up for debate. On one hand, you may come across as being anti-social, and on the other hand, having your camera off may signal disinterest. One solution is to pop in, greet everyone, give the host a chance to rundown the topics for the meeting, then turn off your camera. Use your mic when you can to remind everyone that you are present and interested in the discussion. (Pro tip: if you’re going to turn off your camera, be sure to stay near the computer in case someone calls on you.)
Just Say No
Send an email and ask your team if the scheduled Zoom can be replaced with an email or a quick conference call. Enough said.
Recurring Zoom meetings can feel stale and monotonous. Splash some water on your face, moisturize, put on your favorite top, and make the best of the situation. Remember why you do the work that you do and present your best self. When you look good, you feel good.
If all else fails, take a minute to remind yourself just how lucky (spelled: B-L-E-S-S-E-D) you really are to have a job that allows you the flexibility of working remotely, warts and all. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s taught us to count our blessings.