Virtual Work:  Three Ways to Energize Your People

I’M DELIGHTED TO HOST A FOURTH BOOK GIVEAWAY in FOUR WEEKS!!

20 copies available!!

Leave a comment on this guest post by Betty Johnson, Ph.D. to become eligible for one of 20 complimentary copies of her new book, Making Virtual Work: How to Build Relationships and Performance.

Deadline for eligibility is 11/13/2021. International winners will receive electronic version.

Note: All winners from previous giveaways have been notified!

What makes video meetings exhausting?

I researched this question during COVID-19, and 350 virtual workers across 19 sociodemographics poured out their hearts in response. They also told me what makes things better.

The surprise:

I went into the research thinking, “We’re exhausted because we’re faking it! We’re burning out our eyes from staring at the light and camera instead of each other. Dissonance from make-up on the top, yoga pants with flip flops on the bottom. Forced smiles, striving to show our best but disturbed by how tired or disheveled we look.”

Yes, but.

After months of statistical analyses, the biggest issue became clear: it’s uselessness that’s wearing people out. Useless video meetings and people feeling useless in them.

3 Ways to Get Energy and Fix Uselessness

#1. Camera use? Let them decide.

You want to see their faces to know they’re tracking with you, right?

Here’s the rub: If you require all cameras on, they get cognitive overload. They can’t process, much less remember what you say.

#2. Give space for small talk.

Chit-chat in video meetings might sound like a waste of time to you.

But virtual workers need to talk about last night’s game, their kids, their weekends. If you squelch that, they will disengage from you and your organization because their relationships will fray.

#3. Manage their daily ration.

You think a weekly 30-minute team meeting gets things done efficiently.

But if you have a team of ten, your 30-minute meeting consumes almost a full day of team productivity. And my research shows emotional exhaustion sets in at seven hours of video meetings in a week. So, before you pile on, think about how many video meetings are already on their calendars and whether you prefer they be productive.

What else can you do? Take the free Making Virtual Work survey and find out!

What makes video meeting exhausting to you?

Dr. Betty Johnson is President of Bridging the Difference® LLC. Her new book, Making Virtual Work: How to Build Performance and Relationships, gives a research-based remedy for leading people in the new normal of virtual and hybrid work. Click to learn more about Betty!

Image of a bored person in front of a computer. 

Yes, video meetings are exhausting. The culprit? Uselessness.