“Zoom Fatigue” is a real issue when participating in online events and meetings. Being on a video call requires more focus than having a conversation in real life – we need to work harder to process non-verbal cues, normal pauses can feel uncomfortable, and when we are physically on camera, we can be very much aware of being watched. As the frequency of virtual contact increases, we can expect to become more familiar and comfortable with the interface, but there are things we can do now to help mitigate Zoom fatigue.
- Reduce the amount of onscreen stimuli you have during a meeting to prevent burnout – you can hide self-view in your settings, have an agreed upon Zoom background for all participants, or make your calls voice-only.
- Mini breaks are important. Take a few moments to look away from the screen to rest your eyes. If your schedule will include back-to-back calls, make your meetings last for 25 or 50 minutes – instead a half-hour and hour – to give yourself enough time to move about, have a snack, step outside the room or building, etc.
When planning an event, keep these ideas in mind:
- be sure to schedule break times throughout;
- keep the sessions short to ensure maximum engagement;
- spread out your topics so that you don’t have the same topics covered back to back;
- have an ‘add to calendar’ button on each session so that participants can plan their schedule beforehand;
- consider hosting your event for multiple days, allowing for more flexibility and freedom in scheduling;
- be creative with your sessions in order to give attendees a mental break; and,
- if you plan on offering virtual social events they should always be opt-in.