Combating Zoom Fatigue: 5 Tips to Beat the Burnout

Catherine Ma

Catherine was previously a Digital Marketing Strategist at Piccles

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Combating Zoom Fatigue: 5 Tips to Beat the Burnout

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by being packed in consecutive Zoom meetings day after day?

Has it been hard to keep attention during remote meetings or events?

Have you ever felt physically exhausted after sitting in front of your screen for long hours?

If yes, you're probably experiencing the new ''Zoom Fatigue'' phenomena. 

If you feel stuck in your meetings, maybe it's because your meetings suck.

Sparked by the need to stay home and keep social distance during the pandemic, remote working has become a necessity for workplace meetings, classes, events and conferences. It is true that these remote meetings are draining due to the lack of engagement, the struggle to keep focused for hours and the energy and fun sucked from the room.

You may be asking yourself: Am I giving people Zoom Fatigue? What will this result in? What can we do to improve these interactions?

It's not surprising that lowered productivity, effortful communication and decreased morale are a result of Zoom Fatigue. With platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting as the best way to see and communicate with your team, we created a list of the top 5 ways to get the most out of these meetings, leaving your team feeling more connected, energized and motivated.

Get the most from your meetings with these 5 keys to success.

Fun and Creativity

Variety is the spice of life, so sprinkle some excitement into your virtual meeting. Leave some time for unstructured talk - the first and last 5 minutes of every meeting is often the most important. This is where teambuilding happens, ideas collide and spirits are lifted before you get into the guts of the meeting. But don't stop at socializing! To make your formal communication more fun and creative, you can surprise people with group activities like sharing the book you're reading or physical activities to get the blood flowing. Add background music, change dress codes or make everyone connect from a new part of their house. Getting comfortable with creativity and cultivating a sense of fun are not as difficult as you have imagined and don't have to cost anything, so what are you waiting for?

Transition periods and breaks

Building transition periods during your meetings or events can help refresh your participants – muting the microphone and turning off the camera, minimizing the window, looking away from the screen, stretching a bit, having a drink, or checking messages on the phone. It can be draining to talk, engage and to pay attention to the speaker all the time. Having pre-planned breaks at evenly spaced intervals will revitalize your audiences body and mind.

Set an agenda and always finish early

A meeting without an agenda is like grocery shopping without a list: You won't get what you need, it takes longer than anticipated, and you'll end up reconsidering your choices as you make a frozen pizza for dinner.

So set an agenda, designate someone to keep everyone on topic and on time, and cut off ramblers who just want to hear themselves speak. Virtual meetings are already awkward. Don't give your audience anxiety as they decide how they will gracefully leave or abruptly end your meeting that is going long. Time is short, keep it sweet.

Show, don't tell

Whether it is a work meeting or a video conference or a training workshop, your content matters, but not as much as the way you convey your content. If you were planning a Powerpoint presentation, instead you could record the presentation, send it to everyone ahead of time, and use the meeting time for a discussion about the presentation(the good stuff). Powerpoints can function as strong visual aids, but don't drone on slide after slide. Limit it to 10 slides, with many more reference slides to jump to if a question arises. By taking the liberty to skip around your presentation, you show your audience that they are in control of the content and getting a unique experience. And don't be afraid to ditch the deck altogether: make use of tools such as sticky notes, drawing pads and whiteboards that keep participants' interest and let them absorb your content in new ways.

Digital engagement tools

The key to providing an enjoyable and energizing remote meeting experience is engagement. There are many new technologies to make remote meetings and events more personalized, dynamic and immersive. Here are some digital engagement tools ideas: Q&A and polling tools that enable interaction between speakers and audiences, digital white boards for online collaboration, and teambuilding tools that build a sense of unity and community. When your participants feel engaged, and not like they're back in the class of that one college professor who read directly from the textbook, Zoom Fatigue will be no longer an issue!