Video conferencing has never been more popular. And while this form of communication has obvious benefits, it has a dark side as well: namely, Zoom fatigue.
Being able to talk with friends, family members, coworkers, and customers in a face-to-face manner—even if we're thousands of miles away from each other—is pretty great. But too many virtual meetings will leave you exhausted, as many professionals have learned.
In this article we'll explain what Zoom fatigue is, what causes it, and four ways you can beat it.
According to Healthline, Zoom fatigue is the "the exhaustion you feel after any kind of video call or conference. It’s not a formal diagnosis, but Zoom fatigue is very real."
Have you ever clicked out of a virtual meeting with a few coworkers and felt like you needed to drink a gallon of Red Bull to get through the rest of your day? Then you've probably experienced Zoom fatigue in some shape or form.
Symptoms of Zoom fatigue include:
While the term references Zoom, the most popular video conferencing tool on the planet, it's important to note that Zoom fatigue can stem from any form of live video communication.
So why is Zoom fatigue a thing? Jeremy Bailenson, a Stanford researcher and one of the leading authorities on Zoom fatigue, gives us three reasons:
Add these things together: constant performance anxiety, sedentary days, and the less personal nature of Zoom meetings and it's not hard to see why many of us are more tired.
Zoom fatigue is real and causes feelings of exhaustion, headaches, and other unsavory symptoms. So it definitely makes sense to ask, "how do you beat Zoom fatigue?" Here are four tips to keep you keep going in the age of (seemingly) endless video conferences.
Doing so will help reduce performance anxiety during virtual meetings. It will also give you more mobility, allowing you to pace around your office or even go for a walk outside (assuming you have wireless headphones and can access the meeting via your phone.)
In most cases, you don't need to have your camera on anyway. If you're watching a presentation, the presenter doesn't need to see you. If you're joining a large group, most other attendees won't care if they see you, especially if you're not talking.
If, for whatever reason, you have to have your camera on, hide the self view in your video conference software's settings. This will, at the very least, reduce your levels of performance anxiety because you won't be able to see yourself and worry if you look okay or not.
Next up, adjust your schedule. If every day is full of back-to-back virtual meetings, you're going to get burned out—especially if said meetings rune late, which often happens. Instead, keep these three tips in mind when scheduling your video conferences:
Virtual meetings are almost inevitable in the modern world. But by paying attention to your schedule, you can help avoid Zoom fatigue.
Zoom is a great tool. So is Google Hangouts, Highfive, and many other video conferencing softwares. But they aren't the only ways to communicate with employees, colleagues, and prospects. Give yourself a break and use something a different solution like:
By finding the right balance between video calls, written communication, and asynchronous video messages, you'll be able to overcome Zoom fatigue.
Let's be honest: multitasking is bad news. Science has proven that the human brain can't focus 100% on more than one thing at a time—no matter how hard we try. Attempting to multitask just leads to lower productivity and brain health.
Multitasking is extra problematic when paired with video conferencing because effective virtual meetings require more brain power than other tasks.
When you join a video conference, close out the other tabs on your screen, put your phone away, and log out of your email. Do whatever you can to eliminate distractions so that you can give the meeting your full attention.
Here's the deal: Zoom fatigue is real and it's lowering your quality of life.
It's not Zoom's or any other video conferencing software's fault. These companies have built amazing tools that allow us to connect with people face-to-face—even if we're thousands of miles apart. The problem is we've become so reliant on them, they've started to burn us out.
Fortunately, now that you know what Zoom fatigue is and what causes it, you can implement the tips listed above to overcome it and create a better work environment for yourself!
Speaking of a better work environment, don't forget about CloudApp.
Our software makes it easy to record yourself talking, capture video of your screen, create GIFs, and annotate screenshots with arrows, text boxes, and emojis. All of these features make communication more efficient and help guard against Zoom fatigue.
Joe is VP of Corporate and Demand Marketing at Scorpion. He is also the CMO of Stockchain Global and Advisory Board Member at Ylixr. He has over 12 years experience managing various areas of marketing including research, media buying, social, and overall strategy. His analyses have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Associated Press, and Forbes. Joe holds a BSc in Finance and MBA in Strategy & Marketing from the University of Utah. He also has an Executive Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.