Zoom Burnout and What to Do About It
Oh, joy. Another Zoom meeting. At first it was kind of a novelty. With all the uncertainty over Covid-19, Zoom meetings were (and still are) a great way to stay safe while still being productive. Needless to say, after a long year of them, Zoom meetings don’t hold the thrill they once did. You’re tired of your living room walls, the bad connections and the technical glitches that inevitably crop up. If that weren’t enough, gazing at your coworker’s same boring background day after day is starting to drive you mad.
Yes, Zoom burnout is a real thing. Even with some hopeful signs that the pandemic finally be ebbing, these new virtual meeting houses aren’t going away any time soon. So how do you cope with Zoom burnout in the meantime?
One way is to decide if you really need a Zoom meeting to begin with. Not every issue demands a company meeting where you stare at a row of tiny faces in equally tiny boxes. Would a telephone conference or even a mass email get the job done just as well? Don’t have a Zoom meeting just because you can. Saving it for when it’s really needed can go a long way to reducing burnout.
You don’t have to sift through the Internet’s endless sea of vlogs, blogs and TikTok videos before you realize that people love seeing themselves on camera. If you are participating in a lot of Zoom meetings, resist the urge to look at your own face. Instead, hide your own video from view. You’ll worry less about what you look like and concentrate more on what other people are saying.
Speaking of concentrating, try enabling Speaker View rather than Gallery View. This view enlarges in the speaker’s box, while keeping the rest in the background. It more closely mimics the dynamics of a traditional meeting in a conference room. As an added plus, it sure beats that row of tiny boxes.
Resist the urge to multi-task as well. Just because you can check your messages and fire off a series of emails, all while monitoring your stock portfolio and catching up on the latest cat videos in a way you never could during a traditional meeting, doesn’t mean you should. The meeting is being held for a reason, so focus your attention on that reason. Multi-tasking is tiring and just because your attention is in six places at once doesn’t mean you’re six times more productive.
Finally, remember to give yourself a break. Too much of anything will lead to burnout, and Zoom meetings are no exception. If you have back-to-back virtual meetings scheduled all day, insist on a 45 or 50 minute hour. Utilize that precious 10 to 15 minutes of time to get up, use the bathroom, take a drink or take a walk— anything to get your eyes and your mind away from the computer screen.
Like it or not, our “normal” is being redefined, and Zoom meetings are going to be a part of our foreseeable future. Follow these tips to maximize your experience so you won’t need to fake a bad connection just to regain a little bit of your sanity.