Now that the novelty of video chatting with our friends, family, and colleagues has worn off, it's become exhausting to wade through the nuances of online communication. But why are video calls more exhausting than talking in-person?
Researchers have stated that being on video calls requires more focus than communicating face-to-face since we have to work harder to pick up on non-verbal cues, like body language and tone. Our mind has to constantly be alert and fill in the missing gaps of information to help us communicate effectively. Instead of falling into the natural rhythms of conversation, you have to work through technical delays and misconstrued silences, the awareness of constantly being watched, and the worry of having something or someone interrupt your call in an unprofessional way.
Video calling is also a reminder of the serious situation we're in and how being with others in-person can be a fatal choice due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. Fortunately, there's ways you can overcome or, at least, lessen Zoom fatigue.
Here are some helpful tips:
Before starting a meeting, take time to check-in with everyone. Ask how about everyone's wellbeing and if they're experiencing any challenges or difficulties.
Try limiting video calls to important discussions only. Instead, try sending detailed notes to your colleagues to give them time to absorb the information at their own pace.
Have the option of allowing people to turn off their camera without facing repercussions. This will help lessen the anxiety of being on a video call, and will allow people to use their mental power to focus on the task at hand.
Take breaks. Allow participants to get up and grab a drink, stretch, take a break from their screen, etc.