Tricia  Benn

By Tricia Benn

6 Ways to Combat Zoom Fatigue

6 Ways to Combat Zoom Fatigue 150 150 Tricia Benn

Zoom fatigue is more than just a timely catch phrase. For many of us, it’s the effect of over a year of isolation, away from the office and our co-workers. While there’s no question Zoom is an incredibly effective tool to stay in touch and conduct business, Zoom fatigue is something that needs to be addressed.

According to recent studies by Stanford University, one in seven women, or 13.8 percent, and one in twenty (5.5 percent) men reported feeling “very” to “extremely” fatigued during Zoom calls. Why are women more severely affected? There are a number of factors associated with this gender discrepancy; for example, women are more often feeling physically trapped in the camera’s field of view.

Women also have the same number of meetings as men, on average, but their meetings seem to last longer. Also, women are less likely to take breaks between meetings. In the past year, I logged in more than 3,000 hours on Zoom hosting events and video calls (a conservative estimate) and averaged anywhere from 10-20+ meetings on a daily basis. Before the pandemic, there was travel time or in-person time between meetings, but there are no built-in breaks during virtual meetings.

Last year, Zoom experienced a growth of 354 percent and through the first months of the pandemic, they went from 10 million users to 300 million daily meeting participants – and 2 trillion minutes in April of 2020 alone!

How do we help our teams combat Zoom fatigue? How do we avoid falling into that ourselves? Here are a few helpful hints.


Have Fun With Your Zoom Space

If we have to have our videos on during calls, how about having some fun with our backgrounds? Choose a virtual background that makes you happy – the beach, a mountain trail, whatever it is that brings a smile to your face. Also, there are emojis you can play with to bring some levity into your meeting – should the meeting warrant levity. Our state of mind plays an integral role during each and every call, so why not enjoy it?


Move Around

If you have a stand-up desk, use it. It breaks the monotony of always having to sit down and remain stationary. Plus, it’s a good way to break out of our sedentary habits. If you don’t have a stand-up desk, get up and walk around your house. Go outside and take a walk during a conference call or even in between meetings. That’ll help distract you for a short period of time and make it easier to re-focus as you head into your next call.


Be Purposeful with Your Time

Every morning, take a look at your calendar. See where the gaps are in your day and use that time to schedule breaks – even if it’s only a short, 15-minute window. Keep in mind that you’re only one and that no matter how much work there is to be done, there are only 24 hours in a day. As the busy executives that we are, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, don’t let that happen to you. You’re in control of your calendar!


Allow Video ‘Off’ on Some Calls

For many, having to constantly be ‘on’ can be draining, as the cognitive load is much higher during video calls. For some leaders, this isn’t a problem, as they thrive on that eye-to-eye connection. However, it doesn’t work for everyone.

It helps to know who on your team is energized by video calls and who is drained by them. Reading verbal cues can be an incredibly useful tool in our arsenal. If you know someone on your team is experiencing Zoom fatigue, allow them to occasionally shut off their cameras and recharge, or step away from a quick break.


Give Yourself Grace

We’ve all driven to thrive through difficult year – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  We have been put through the ringer and we are often our own worst critics. Let’s give ourselves the grace we deserve as imperfect human beings. Perfection is a myth, so a little grace goes a long way to creating an environment where we are all appreciated and accepted.


Invest in Your Community

Here at the C-Suite Network,  we are always stressing the importance of community. There is power in numbers. It’s incredibly important to our overall well-being to find a group of people you want to be associated with, who live your values, and capitalize on the immense intellectual property of that collective.

Other quick tips you can employ in your everyday work lives are:

  • Avoid multi-tasking during your calls
  • Focus on the positive
  • Remember the power of what you give voice to

Your mindset has an incredible effect on what you do every day. There are no ‘little’ things in business. The ‘little things’ add up to all we are trying to accomplish – scale our businesses, increase our bottom lines and impact.  Let’s take care of ourselves so we can take care of business – personally and professionally.