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11 Proven Tips & Tricks to Cope With Zoom Fatigue

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Remote work culture has become the new normal and led to new complications including Zoom fatigue. Identify if you have symptoms of zoom fatigue and learn to cope with them to keep delivering outstanding performances.

Zoom Fatigue

The recent pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to the world and suddenly almost every professional shifted to ‘work from home’ mode. Suddenly everyone was doing their office work requirements online, hopping on quick calls and scheduling remote meetings through Zoom and various other virtual meeting platforms. This disruption made Zoom and MS teams a household term overnight.


At the beginning of the pandemic, Zoom calls surged extraordinarily and that trend remained somewhat similar even beyond the pandemic. It went up from 10 million to 300 million calls per day as of 2022. Microsoft Teams or MS Teams, a similar platform for virtual meetings, experienced similar trends, as it reached 270 million users in 2022 from 75 million in 2020.


What is Zoom Fatigue?


Remote working reshaped the work culture of many industries and businesses realised it is here to stay. A big chunk of the workforce is still working from home and using either one or more from Zoom or Microsoft Teams or Google Meets and so on for a significant amount of time daily.


The new normal has led to the birth of a new complication: Zoom fatigue.


It happens due to the way we process information over video. During a video call, we can only pay attention by looking at the camera. We hesitate to turn to look around, fearing it may seem like we are not paying attention. After a while, this constant gaze makes us feel uncomfortable and tired.


In real life, we rarely sit or stand near a colleague and stare at their face like we need to do over Zoom calls. Even if we do, we use our peripheral vision to glance out our surroundings. But on video calls, we keep staring at a small window on our computer/mobile screens, making us hyper-aware of every expression.


And without the visual breaks to refocus our brain, we experience fatigue or Zoom Fatigue.


What are the Symptoms of Zoom Fatigue?


Some of the most common symptoms of Zoom fatigue are mentioned below.


● You feel shivers at the mention of online meetings and don't want to attend them.

● You think about online meetings and feel annoyed even when you are off work.

● You feel frustrated and angry even on petty technological or internet issues.

● You feel disoriented while attending online meetings.

● You began to feel anxious or sweaty suddenly while doing online meetings.

● You feel exhausted even after finishing online meetings.

● You experience chronic irritation or pressure on the eyes.

● You may experience migraines or headaches frequently.


If you are experiencing one or more symptoms mentioned above, then you are suffering from Zoom fatigue. Although it's popular as Zoom fatigue, it can happen due to constant use of any online/virtual meeting platform such as Google Hangouts and Meet, Skype, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, Slack, FaceTime, and so on.


Effective Tips to Tackle Zoom Fatigue


If you have just found out that you are suffering from Zoom fatigue, don’t panic and despair. These eleven effective tips that can help overcome this complication.


1. Get Oriented Before Online Meetings


Taking a few deep breaths before you get on the video call or in between virtual meetings can be very helpful. Practice mindfulness to replenish and prepare yourself to tackle Zoom fatigue, even before it strikes. Rely on your senses to focus on the present moment. It can be helpful to you to withstand draining interactions and decrease stress at the moment.


2. Prepare For Meetings Beforehand


Whether you are doing an online meeting or face-to-face meeting, whether you have to address just two of your colleagues or two dozen members of your team, a large part of what makes those meetings successful lies in the preparation phase. Follow applicable tips to prepare and run important meetings to make the Zoom calls more efficient and productive.


3. Hide Self-view


Regular Zoom calls lead to constantly staring at yourself on screen. That phenomenon heightens your awareness of being seen, which can induce anxiety and becomes exhausting. It’s not necessary for you to see yourself all the time. Hiding your self-view is the best way to avoid looking at and analysing your every gesture.


4. Use The "Speaker View" Mode


Prefer using "speaker view" instead of "gallery view". As you focus on one person at a time, online meetings become less mentally draining. Also, you get to know instantly who is speaking, making your meeting experience smoother. Furthermore, it limits the amount of time you focus on how you look on camera, which can add additional stress.


5. Keep Meetings Shorter


Having a meeting doesn’t mean it should be a long one. Try keeping your meeting duration as short as possible, not every meeting needs to be an hour long. Inform your colleagues about the meeting agenda, run through your slides, and ask for feedback in advance. Always aim to yield the most of your meeting time, your colleagues will thank you.


6. Avoid Multitasking


You might be tempted to do several tasks at once during Zoom meetings, but you probably aren't as good at multitasking as you think. According to research, multitasking decreases performance by 40% in most cases. Multitasking can be hard to resist during busy days, but focusing on one task at hand is one of the effective ways for you to be more focused, effective and less fatigued.


7. Schedule and Take Breaks


When you attend back-to-back Zoom calls, you tend to miss a mental, visual, or physical break that can help you rejuvenate. Even in face-to-face meetings, you get up to grab a coffee and switch meeting rooms. You need such breaks when working remotely too. Practice the Pomodoro technique along with other suitable time management techniques to be productive without exhausting yourself.


8. Give Yourself More Space


Sitting in the same space in front of your computer for hours can be exhausting. It also limits our capacity to think and speak freely. Research suggests that people are more creative and communicate better when they move around. Use wireless earphones, keyboard, and mouse to give yourself more space to move away from the computer while still participating in the meeting.


9. Use The 20-20-20 Rule


Constant use of Zoom and other such online platforms that require prolonged exposure to computers and other screen-based devices can cause eye strain. Use the 20-20-20 rule to make sure your eyes get the rest they need. After every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, take a look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This practice will help relax the eye muscles.


10. Use Alternative Choices


Zoom meeting is not necessary for every communication; find out if a call or email would be enough. Choosing alternatives over an online meeting can reduce stress during your work day given how draining those meetings can be. Share your calendar with your colleagues, and encourage having conversations over Slack or email, so that you can save yourself and your colleagues from nuisance.


11. Convey Your Concerns To Your Colleagues


You can get tired even after following the best practices for avoiding fatigue. When you are exhausted, you should convey to your colleagues that you need a break or a mental health day. Setting boundaries, letting people know your limits, and securing your interests often helps you to deliver your best without getting exhausted.


Along with the above-mentioned suggestions to stop Zoom fatigue, further apply brilliant tips to manage time effectively when working from home and you will be able to deliver outstanding performance with consistency.


Need help to work smart? Take the free 'My Time Management Style' Assessment to enhance your productivity and have a personal life.


Smita D Jain is a Certified Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Personal Clarity Coaching Programs enable busy professionals unhappy in their jobs to tap into their passions and transform them into professions so that they work because they want to, not because they have to.


Prior to her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a speaker at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author.


You can learn more about Personal Empowerment Life Coach and Executive Coach Smita D Jain’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs by visiting www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com and book a strategy session at https://www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com/booking.



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