Not Another Video Conference: How to Manage Zoom Fatigue

You’re learning that back-to-back video conferences are more exhausting than in-person meetings.

Zoom is exhausting, in part, because everything is harder during disruption. But National Geographic, USA Today, and others are posting articles on a new problem dubbed “Zoom fatigue.”

Why “Zoom fatigue”:

#1. Everyone looks like a stoic from New England on video conference.

Emotionally intelligent leaders use inter-personal cues to monitor and manage relationships. Strong relationships enhance results.

Every group on zoom looks disinterested, depressed, or adversarial. You might look at people’s faces on a video conference and wonder why they’re mad at you.

Looks of frustration or disinterest signal a need to adapt inter-personal strategies. Adding more detail may help ease furrowed brows, for example. But everyone looks like a New England stoic in a group video conference.

Humor is another challenge. People tend not to laugh when they’re alone in the family room.

#2. Looking at yourself complicates communication.

One nice thing about in-person conversation is you aren’t staring back at yourself. I recently had a zoom call where the video of myself was in a separate monitor.

It felt weird that I couldn’t see myself. When I dragged my image to the main monitor, I realized that it felt good to NOT see myself.

#3. Nostrils are distracting and exhausting.

You look at others too closely on video conference. Camera angles make others look scary. I’m tired of looking up your nose.

Why don’t people change the lighting? Did you shower yet? Your hair looks greasy.

Suggestions:

#1. Try using your cell phone as a phone once in awhile.

#2. Set the screen to speaker view so you don’t have to see everyone on the call.

#3. Schedule time between calls so you can do some crunches or get the mail.

What causes Zoom fatigue for you?

What suggestions might you offer to alleviate Zoom fatigue?

Image source

Bonus material:

Why Zoom Video Chats are so Exhausting (BBC)

Another Pandemic Woe: Zoom Fatigue (Axios)

Zoom Exhaustion is Real. Here Are Six Ways to Find Balance and Stay Connected (Mindful)