- In many ways, Zoom meetings have become the new normal. Most people haven’t had the time to get used to this shift, nor was there an opportunity to adapt to it gradually.
- We shed some light on what Zoom fatigue is, identifying symptoms and ways to overcome it.
As more businesses have committed to continue remote work either for an extended period or even permanently, Zoom has become the prevalent communication platform.
There is no doubt Zoom often makes joining a meeting easy and convenient, but there are downsides to this connecting method.
Zoom fatigue is an emerging phenomenon, and it represents the various ways of feeling overwhelmed. It’s not just about Zoom, but all audiovisual software used for business.
I was on a call with a group of individuals I had not spoken to in a while. One woman looked a bit zoned-out, almost angry. I sent her a private message through the chat to ask if she was okay. She responded with, “Yes, I’m fine. I’m just getting tired of staring at this damn screen every day.” I guess that she is currently experiencing Zoom fatigue.
How can you tell if you are experiencing Zoom fatigue? Let’s explore four common symptoms and learn about ways you can overcome them.
1. General Lack of Focus
In many ways, Zoom meetings have become the new normal. Most people haven’t had the time to get used to this shift, nor was there an opportunity to adapt to it gradually.
This is especially the case if your Zoom meetings require having the camera on the entire time. You have to focus more intently, yet at the same time, it’s easier to lose focus since you’re not talking to people in-person.
The solution to this is to avoid multitasking while you are on a Zoom meeting. It might be easier said than done, but the cognitive load will add up and continue to disrupt your much-needed focus. Minimize browser tabs, put away your phone, and instead focus solely on what’s happening in the meeting.
2. Eye Irritation
We’ve all spent too much time in front of the screens ever before Zoom meetings even took over the business world. But with regular daily video calls, the eye strain can become substantial.
You might find yourself rubbing your eyes during the meeting or afterwards, and they might also feel sore. Vision problems can also open the door to headaches, excessive tearing, and even blurred vision.
To mitigate this Zoom fatigue sign, resting your eyes by looking at something else every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds or so can be immensely helpful. It will help your eyes readjust and help combat this issue.
3. Anxiety Before a Meeting
When it comes to working, anxiety can come from various sources. However, if you find yourself feeling overly anxious for no reason for the upcoming Zoom call, you may be in the throes of Zoom fatigue.
This anxiety can manifest in a continuous rescheduling of the call or even avoiding attending the meetings at all costs. If the anxiety overwhelms you, it’s best to talk to a mental health professional.
You might consider making a clear daily plan for your meetings and set a schedule you’ll abide by. One of the reasons people feel Zoom fatigue is because the meetings often go on longer than necessary.
4. Anger About Minor Issues
One of the particularly troubling things about Zoom fatigue is that it sneaks up on you in unexpected ways. You might feel fine while getting ready to hop on a call, but in the next moment, you’re losing your temper because the internet connection is terrible or your headphones aren’t working.
Once you’re on a call, you might feel frustration and irritability towards your coworkers.
The best way to combat this particular problem is to have a complete overhaul on approaching Zoom and work life.
If you have any say in scheduling, make sure you have Zoom meetings only for essential matters. If you’re feeling especially stressed, tapping out of video should be something that’s encouraged.
Using Zoom Only to Your Advantage
We have so many incredible technological innovations as people continuously look for new ways to make our lives easier and more productive. Zoom and similar platforms are a representation of those ideas.
However, there’s always that line that’s too easy to cross when there is no balance. Just because Zoom meetings are quicker to set up than in-person meetings, that doesn’t mean there needs to be pressure to attend everything and never hang up.
This pressure brings about the much-talked-about fatigue. It’s our responsibility to always look for new ways to overcome it.
You must become aware of Zoom fatigue’s early signs so that you can then take a step back and regroup. Remember, your mental health is equally as important as your physical health.
Are you experiencing Zoom fatigue? If you need a sounding board, connect with us for a free 20-minute call here. You can also connect with Pamela on LinkedIn.
About the Author
Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP, is an international communication consultant, high-performance presentation coach, speaker, and CEO of Experiential. She helps clients establish their executive presence, structure a clear, concise message, and deliver their thoughts and ideas with style, confidence, and authority.