Zoom fatigue is a new saying in our new world of working. For the first time we are forced to focus more intently on each other. In a conference room we can whisper to a colleague, day dream and look out the window. On Zoom we are there on the screen absorbing information and looking out front. This constant gaze does not allow or accommodate peripheral vision.
We have all see the Zoomers who can’t do it, they fidget whilst on the call, their eyes are drifting to their phones or they are checking their emails. Everyone can see their straying eye contact and their lack of focus and can be as exhausting to watch as you demonstrate exemplary focus.
The secret is to relax and enjoy the conversation, make eye contact with the person speaking and forget you are on video. The more consciously you are aware of the video and focus on yourself the more you will lose the flow of the chat.
Make notes, this is not rude it shows you are engaged and genuinely interested in what the person is saying and it helps with your concentration levels. Paper and pen is better so that there is no clicking or other screen involved.
Everyone has had a play with the fun backgrounds, however this is extra visual stimuli. The plainer your background the more concentration you will get from your Zoomers.
Be comfortable with each other, make a consensus all screens/no screens so that everyone is in the same boat. We are in it together.
Social events on Zoom can be exhausting if they are a mass free for all. By having a facilitator or some fun exercises does give the call a little more structure. We all might be quizzed out, however they are more successful than a free for all.
Overall if you are totally Zoomed out, why not go back to using the phone for the odd piece of communication, it might be just as effective.
Top tips for Zooming
- Don’t multi task
- Put your phone out of sight
- Turn off the tabs on your computer so the only screen visible is Zoom
- Have a clear desk – your eyes will drift
- Make all Zoom calls one hour maximum
- Agree as a group to have screens on or off – consensus
- Encourage simple backgrounds or all go for the same one
- Decide whether the call needs Zoom
- Ensure that socials have some form of structure
- Make notes
- Relax and enjoy
- Make eye contact with person speaking
- Forget about the video
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