Published June 23, 2020
The number of Zoom meetings we've all attended has grown in recent months. With most of us working remotely, virtual meetings are a convenient and effective way to stay productive and get things done.
I want to share some tips from an article in Harvard Business Review on combating Zoom fatigue that I found helpful.
As tempting as it is to try and accomplish more in a short amount of time, studies show that productivity drops as much as 40% when we try to multitask, and we retain less information.
Some urgent messages and tasks are unavoidable, of course. But by tackling tasks that aren’t urgent after your meetings, you may find you can get more done, with less stress.
Back-to-back Zoom calls can feel like a marathon. But building in breaks where you look away from your screen, even for a few seconds, can reduce physical and mental fatigue.
As a host, you may want to consider scheduling meetings for 25 or 50 minutes. Although travel time is no longer a consideration, this small break gives everyone a chance to catch their breath.
Unlike face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings happen in as many different rooms as there are participants. That’s a lot of stimuli! Consider choosing a virtual background that’s less “busy,” like a solid color or a simple design.
As a host, allow people to turn off their video if they aren’t speaking. This limits the amount of background information we’re each broadcasting at once.
Also, consider hiding your own face. Research shows that we focus more on our own face when we’re onscreen, so hiding our own video may help us focus better and retain more information.
If you’re feeling fatigued, suggest that your last meeting of the day be switched to a phone call or email conversation, if possible. Occasionally switching to another channel might help keep away the fatigue, making all kinds of communication more effective in the long run.
J. Brice Bible is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer (VPCIO) for UB. UBIT is a service division at UB that provides enterprise technology leadership and guidance.