Battle Zoom Fatigue at your Next Meeting

Zoom fatigue is real!

You are meeting virtually with team members all day long and then “go home” to more zoom calls with friends, workout on-line, and worship virtually. Simply put- our brains aren’t equipped for so much on-line focus which creates zoom fatigue.

It takes more focus to interpret the facial expressions, tone of voice and body language on a virtual call. We see less nonverbal information. If someone happens to be gesturing at their waist, we don’t see it. Every facial expression becomes more important and often, we are reacting to something totally different. (How many of us have tried to give the stink eye to noisy kids or a mischievous pet during a call? Your coworkers, however, may think it is for them!)

When we have a moment of silence (normal for most meetings), we worry we are having audio issues or that someone has frozen on our screen. Your tone of voice may be altered and sound robotic. If a connection is bad, colleagues may be only hearing every third word!

It is documented that we feel a dissonance between being mentally in the same place but physically not.

We are conscious of being “looked at” which makes most people uncomfortable. We also worry about how our house looks in the background; we feel our desperate need for a haircut; and we stress over the need to hop up and take care of a different “fire” in the house with our other family members.

Many of us feel like less meetings aren’t possible because we don’t have control over the amount of meetings which are scheduled for us. We don’t feel able to turn down a meeting because we need to prove our company worth to keep our jobs. Our old commute time has now become office time- increasing our time on zoom!

There are many articles with tips on what to do, and yes, by all means, shorten meetings; schedule less of them and move some to the phone versus on-line.

But what else?

Here are some ways to “get moving” and stave off zoom fatigue.

  1. Physically warm up before meetings. Stretch, roll your shoulders and massage your face muscles to prime your main virtual communicators for the day.
Move your body to move your mind!

2. Fidget! The one great thing about virtual calls is no one knows if you are wearing pants! Meaning, they can’t see your beneath your desk. Wiggle your toes, roll your ankles, shake your legs or twiddle your thumbs to release some of your pent-up energy and stress.

3. Stand up at the end of a meeting as you sign off. Signal to your brain that one meeting is over and let your mind transition to the next one with a physical disconnect. Take a minute to stretch, walk around the room and shake out one meeting before sitting down for the next.

4. Literally move to another location. Who says all your meetings have to be from the same place? Especially the cocktail zoom or on-line date should be relaxed from the couch or somewhere different from where you take office meetings. It’s strange to your brain to have church, work, the bar and the movies all from the same chair! (Find that old TV table or black music stand- they work great for moving your laptop to new locations.)

A photo of a music stand with a computer for virtual calls.
Your mobile desk!

If you use a standing desk, a walking desk or other ways to stay active, you are already ahead of the rest of us!

Try these tips and comment how they are working for you. Need your whole team to be “schooled” on better virtual meetings? Moving Image Consulting is here to provide you with some great virtual body language training to make the most of this time.

Contact us and we’ll see how we can help!