Zoom and other video conferencing software vendors are the apps that everyone needs but, dare I say it, loathes. Our love-hate relationship gained momentum during the 2020 Pandemic when circumstances beyond our control sent just about everyone into “work from home” mode and for many it continues on.
Notwithstanding the circumstances of the pandemic, the virtual meeting was already on the rise, and Zoom seems to be the powerhouse tool that everyone goes to. The virtual meeting app is so ubiquitous that “zooming” has become a verb in the corporate meeting descriptive vernacular.
Pre-COVID days (remember those days?) approximately 6% of Americans were working remotely, a number that was increased by at least sevenfold overnight due to the pandemic conditions. The reality quickly set in for many companies, work from home may never go away.
Also read: The Best Zoom Alternatives for Your Business
With all this remote work taking place, meetings are happening predominantly via video conferencing software, and Zoom calls make up a majority of those meetings.. According to TechRepublic, Zoom currently owns 60% of the online video conferencing market share and, not surprisingly, that number is on the uptick. On any given day around the globe, Zoom is the go-to tech host for somewhere in the range of 300 million daily meeting participants.
What is Zoom fatigue?
All this world domination has brought about a new phenomenon lovingly referred to as Zoom fatigue. Without any explanation, Zoom users will nod in agreement. They know exactly what Zoom fatigue is all about. For those who don’t already know about the concept of Zoom fatigue, let’s outline why it’s a real condition:
- The tech is tedious. Logging on, slow connections, lagging internet and so on create stressful situations. It’s such a common occurrence that it is almost expected.
- You can multitask. Both a blessing and a curse, the ability to check your email, respond to a Slack message and finish up some pressing work while you are on a Zoom meeting can leave you scattered and unproductive — ultimately leading to burnout
- Your home life boundaries get blurred. Taking a Zoom meeting in your bedroom does a lot to blur the already-blurred lines between your home life and your professional life.
- Communication gets challenged. Everyone talks at once. Collaboration and feeling heard becomes harder in many Zoom interactions leaving participants frustrated, drained and less than innovative.
This short list paints the picture of the implications Zoom fatigue can have on employees as well as the organizations they work for, so what can be done to offset this new phenomenon that is likely here to stay.
Top tips to limit Zoom fatigue
- Set no-meeting zones.
Block off times for employees to count on to be Zoom meeting free. This allows for an attention toward productivity and the ability to have more control over their daily schedules.
- Don’t Zoom when a phone call will suffice.
It’s become so mainstream to Zoom that sometimes we go through all the trouble when we don’t have to. If an “old-fashioned” phone call will work, why not just call?
- Keep an eye out for updates.
Zoom has regular updates that keep it running better. Staying up to date with Zoom latest patches and updates will protect your security but also avoid some frustrating technical difficulties.
- Log on early.
Giving yourself a few extra moments can help alleviate the stress of frantically logging on just as the meeting begins. (And, allow for time to troubleshoot any technical issues that might pop up.)
- Designate a moderator.
For Zoom meetings with larger groups, a big issue (and contributor to Zoom fatigue) is confusing communication flows where everyone talks at once. A moderator can help guide the flow of conversation and avoid that dreaded deluge of all talking at once, but nothing is heard.
- Offer recorded sessions to optional attendees.
For those who don’t absolutely have to be at the Zoom meeting, a great benefit is the ability to record the session for review later. This can alleviate Zoom fatigue with the added benefit of a possible increase to productivity.
Cut one another some slack
Adopting a positive mindset can go a long way in making things better. Zoom fatigue is a real condition that we face in our respective workplaces, it’s true. However, a mindset shift can go a long way in combating it.
Working from home or remote locations allows us freedoms and commute-free existences, so perhaps Zoom fatigue is a small price to pay. The best Zoom fatigue avoidance tip I can offer is to take some precautions to make sure Zoom doesn’t get the best of you and embrace the ability to work from anywhere, for the time being.
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