As COVID-19 has forced many businesses to become virtual prematurely, HR professionals are finding themselves swamped with Zoom meetings. In April 2020 alone, Zoom’s users jumped from 200 million to 300 million.
Before the pandemic, 80 per cent of employees considered teleworking a job perk, though the constant stream of video calls has left many HR professionals feeling uncharacteristically exhausted.
Here are some tips you can leverage to avoid Zoom fatigue and enjoy teleworking more.
1. Reduce Zoom fatigue by setting boundaries
Looking at your calendar and seeing a day packed with meetings is intimidating. Instead, block off a few hours in the morning or afternoon dedicated just to video calls.
Constant interruptions throughout the day lead to decreased productivity and can add to your exhaustion. One study even showed that employees that are frequently interrupted experience 9 per cent higher rates of exhaustion.
Additionally, consider creating a 15-minute meeting rule. Scientific research supports this showing that the average attention span is about 10 to 18 minutes. A time limit also forces people to come more prepared and deliver a more precise message.
Finally, if you’re forced to have a longer meeting, be sure to schedule breaks. Stand up and do some physical activity during these breaks to reactivate your brain.
2. Create a Comfortable Environment
While most people will eventually return to working in an office environment, try to make your current situation as comfortable as possible. Research shows that creating a more comfortable environment can also help increase productivity by roughly 3 to 9 per cent.
Consider what makes you most uncomfortable during Zoom calls. Is it the sound of children or pets in the background? If so, consider purchasing noise-cancelling headphones.
If you’re worried about your technology not working, consider doing a test Zoom call an hour in advance.
You might also choose to be physically more comfortable by either wearing more casual attire (if your team allows you to do so) or purchasing a more comfortable desk chair.
3. Reduce Unnecessary Webcam Calls
About 78 per cent of team meetings and 80 per cent of one on one meetings are performed with video conferencing software. Additionally, roughly 66 per cent of job candidates prefer video interviews to live interviews.
Unfortunately, fulfilling all of these video conferencing requests will immediately fill any HR professional’s workday with Zoom calls and increase Zoom fatigue.
Consider talking to your team and making adjustments to internal video conferencing policies. For example, suggest hosting team meetings on Zoom without a webcam and save the video calls for interviews. Consider scheduling phone calls as well.
Finally, avoid using Zoom as a tool for social events.
As the brain associates Zoom with work, it will never fully switch off from work mode, even when chatting with friends. This state of constant hyper-awareness will eventually cause you to feel fatigued and unrested.
Instead, consider using standard social software such as Facebook Messenger or FaceTime for social events.
Finally, it takes roughly 40-50 repetitions of any new skill to make it feel like a habit. As you continue to use video conferencing, the ritual of preparing for a meeting, turning on your webcam, and breaking the ice will get easier.
Use these tips to help make each repetition better and take note of what works for you.
Written by Ljana Vimont, Managing Director of Stinson Design