Ever since COVID-19 forced so many of us into relative isolation and reliance on remote communication methods, regular users of video conferencing platforms have been wondering how to combat zoom fatigue. Video calls wear us out, it’s just not work, we’re even attending weddings and birthdays on Zoom. While they are a veritable lifeline and they have remote working fatigue helped us stay connected with work and loved ones, we lose a little bit of ourselves every time we connect with someone over video. As an alternative, video can supplement in-person meetings, except when it affects team members negatively. When it is a burden and you’re fighting to engage, stay alert and contribute positively to a virtual meeting.

how to avoid zoom fatigue while working from home

In that case, there’s the constant temptation to take care of other business while “listening” to the meeting, such as answering email or Slack and social media conversations. We need to cut down on video calls and use other media for communication. There are multiple business phone apps that offer text, email or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), all of which are less irritating than video calls. Video calls are a chore; you have to straighten up your background as well as looking presentable.

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But overall, Zoom meetings ask for a lot more mental energy than we’ve previously been used to. As a result, it can be highly taxing–especially when you consider that many of us spend all day sitting alone in our home offices. When you’re at work, you try your best to be fully engaged in the presence of your colleagues. In the classroom, there’s no camera to turn off that prevents your instructor from seeing you tune out and go on your smartphone.

On Zoom, it often makes more sense to look at the face of the person you’re addressing instead of staring at the camera. However, making use of the camera is the best possible way to mimic eye contact. If you want your colleague to know that you’re interested in what they have to say, look at the camera when you’re talking to them. This works to eliminate another barrier provided by Zoom that we don’t experience in face-to-face interactions. While virtual instruction was once viewed as a flexible option, it has recently become a staple of our academic and professional lives. By all means, still have these meetings for those who want to socialize and catch up with their co-workers, just don’t make everyone obligated to join.

What Is Zoom Fatigue?

Working at home leads to high levels of mental demand that reduces productivity, especially for parents or people with a shared workplace. Having to manage your roommates or kids while working leads to higher anxiety levels as well. For better or for worse, video calls are a part of the new normal. While these calls can be difficult and tiring, they can also provide us with some much-needed social contact. If the constant stream of virtual interactions is getting to you, or you find yourself feeling burnt out, know that you can take action to feel better. With the strategies mentioned above, you can keep a check on your stress levels while making the most of what video calls have to offer.

Staring closely at a computer screen can also lead to other physical symptoms. Crucially, Zoom users can also diverge from the default settings and use the hide self-view button, or even periodically turn their camera off altogether if feasible, “to give oneself a brief nonverbal rest”, Bailenson writes. Common causes of work from home burnout include a lack of boundaries between work and home life, a sense of disconnection from peers, need for more structure in the workplace, and overwork. Easy options include visiting a nearby cafe, getting a day pass in a coworking space, renting a hotel room, or swapping home offices with a friend. In the worst case scenario, work out of a different room in your house or apartment.