Is Zoom fatigue real? It is, and it’s beginning to leave your employees burned out and uninspired. COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on businesses around the world. To increase productivity and workplace satisfaction, you want to make some changes to reduce employee Zoom fatigue.
Where once you had a lively workplace with employees bustling about, now you’ve shifted to a remote workforce with employees scattered across regions. Requiring your employees to video conference frequently can sometimes work against your benefit.
Here are some suggestions that can minimize Zoom fatigue among employees.
The Zoom workplace can be a busy place. Employees who try to focus intently on video meetings and then switch back to their work tasks can end up with burnout. Instead, have your staff take regular breaks so they can disengage and clear their minds.
Some employees might want to take a quick loop around the block. Others might want to put on music or read a few pages of a novel. You could try a combination of scheduled and spontaneous breaks to see what works best for your team.
Computer screens are not simple surfaces. From interactive computer features to all the tabs, email accounts, and non-work websites, your employees stare at or stare around a lot of distractions. Remote staff also has distractions like ringing doorbells, knocks on the door, children who need help, or street noises that filter indoors.
To help them focus during a Zoom meeting, ask employees to close all unnecessary applications. Beforehand, you can also provide a brief meeting agenda so employees know what to expect.
Sitting at a computer all day isn’t healthy for anyone. Tell your employees that it’s okay for them to step away from their computers to stretch and move around.
Set an example by cutting off a 30-minute Zoom meeting at the 25-minute mark. Encourage staff to use those five minutes to do some stretches to relieve lower back pain or shoulder stiffness. Quick routines for lower back stretches or lower back and shoulder stretches can become a healthy part of your employees’ day.
Video conferences demand a lot of focus. It’s not as easy to read facial or body cues through a screen, and there is often a continuous rotation of faces on display. Employees don’t always know whom to look at or how to present themselves, worrying that they seem disinterested when in fact they’re overwhelmed.
Understandably, you want to see employees’ faces during a meeting—but try to take a step back sometimes. Give your employees guidelines on when they can turn off the camera. Large group meetings may not always require all those faces in the Zoom Gallery view, giving everyone the chance to listen without feeling anxious.
Heavy digital usage can leave eyes exhausted. These same devices also emit a lot of blue light that can bother your employees’ vision. Encourage your staff to see if blue light glasses might help deflect the glare and relieve Zoom stress on their eyes. These glasses can be prescription or nonprescription, and they can filter out the blue light that devices give off.
Some employees may like them and some may not. Who knows, you might even start an office trend that helps employee health and wellness at the same time.
You may think it’s better to get all video meetings finished by 11 in the morning, but your employees don’t always feel the same way. Not only can back-to-back meetings be more ineffective than productive, but they can leave staff exhausted. Instead, space them out. This pattern gives employees the chance to work on projects so they don’t fall behind.
Also, make sure you give more than 10 minutes between meetings. That’s not enough time for your employees to resume a task and make headway. Next, consider which employees need to be on a video call. Would their time be better served working on other tasks? Perhaps you can conference with a core group and provide a summary to other employees.
Finally, think about creating “no-call” time slots. These are times in which you won’t schedule Zoom meetings, so employees can better organize their days.
For example, you could make a company-wide announcement that video meetings you or upper management initiate never begin before 8:30 in the morning or after 4 in the afternoon. With this in mind, employees can then plan around those times to stay on track.
MyLifeWell is your partner in bringing wellness to the virtual workplace to reduce employee Zoom fatigue. For more advice, check out our corporate wellness programming that can help you and your team foster virtual connectivity and productivity.