Recruitics has a highly collaborative work culture where we are constantly engaging with each other, our customers, our partners, and our vendors. Even before COVID, we were well disciplined in the use of Zoom to synchronize our communication across the globe. However, the pandemic forced the entire world to suddenly adapt the way we communicate. Even though we were able to revamp our work culture to be virtual, the amount of back-to-back Zoom meetings can take a toll. While we continue to navigate this virtual working world, we found some tips that help our teammates avoid Zoom Fatigue.
At Recruitcs, we instituted a practice called “speedy meetings.” Speedy meetings are where instead of the typical default of having one hour or half hour long meetings, we have 50 or 25 minutes as our default. Google calendars offer this as a feature that can be activated, and this change can be made in seconds. This allows teams to take a break in between meetings to reset and realign by looking at something other than the computer screen or webcam. We also encourage our employees to use this extra time to breathe.
These breaks also empower our teammates to mental pause, recenter, and prepare to be our best -- because if we are at our best, we can deliver at our best as well.
Tip: Taking a break to breathe helps release your mind from the previous meeting and allow yourself to recenter for your next engagement.
Since we have such a collaborative and communicative culture at Recruitics, transitioning to WFH resulted in frequent Zoom meetings scheduled back-to-back with no time to take a break. However, when regularly working in an office environment, you naturally take breaks throughout the day -- from grabbing lunch, walking to your next meeting, going to the water cooler, or making coffee. While working from home, it’s so easy to forget to step back and take a break from your work. It’s important to make time in your schedule, even for just a few minutes throughout the day, to stretch, go for a walk, or make coffee -- which is a great way for people to create even a few minutes to take care of themselves.
Working from home can result in staring at screens for a good portion of the day. This is why using the 20-20-20 rule is beneficial: for every 20 minutes you look at a screen, look away for 20 seconds at something that is 20 feet away. This practice was developed by Dr. Jeff Anshell, an optometrist in California, to relax the eye muscles and help concentrate better.
Tip: Blue light reduction tools (such as blue light glasses) can also help support healthy eye habits.
Turn Off Self-View
Something that contributes to Zoom Fatigue is always having to be “on” when in a video call and being able to view yourself in the meeting, and there is a Zoom feature that helps with this. When you join a meeting, you can turn on your camera to make sure the display is okay, then you can click “hide self-view.” Other meeting participants will still be able to view you in the meeting, but you won’t have the urge to view yourself. This can help ease distractions and help you feel less self-conscious.
Being in a video call can be demanding enough, but trying to multitask by reviewing emails or Slack messages can cause you to be overwhelmed. When in meetings, it’s important to feel present and minimize distractions so you can focus and collaborate effectively.
To avoid multitasking on Zoom calls, minimize/close all tabs and pause notifications so there are no temptations and you can bring your whole and best self and brain power to your meeting.
Have The Agenda in Advance
Have you ever participated in a meeting where someone had no agenda or didn’t have a list of things they wanted to accomplish? With a virtual culture of back-to-back Zoom meetings, this can be draining and unproductive -- especially when you have a day full of meetings and work ahead of you.
Before attending a virtual meeting, make sure the organizer has an agenda or a purpose for the meeting, so you know what will be covered in the meeting and can plan accordingly. If you are the host of the meeting, being prepared with an agenda will help keep the meeting efficient while being respectful of your peers’ time and ensure you have a productive meeting.
Tip: You can add your agenda right in the meeting invite. That way, participants can prepare and plan ahead of time for the meeting if necessary.
Does It Have To Be A Zoom Meeting?
It’s important to make sure everyone is staying connected while we continue to work in a virtual environment. Zoom meetings are a great way to have synchronous communications, but we also use many other asynchronous ways to communicate and collaborate in our daily lives. This is why you should only use Zoom meetings when synchronous communication is necessary. If an email, online chat, project management platform, report, or prerecorded video can accomplish what is necessary, then make every effort to leverage those as much as possible.
Tip: Be considerate that Zoom Fatigue impacts everyone differently. It's not just about carving out time to be respectful to yourself to prevent fatigue, but it's also the respect of time and experience that you provide to others as well.
Ensuring Our Best
Since we are taking more virtual calls in work and our personal lives, it’s important to be aware of Zoom Fatigue and have tips and tricks to combat it. At Recruitics, we work with some of the most brilliant minds in the talent acquisition industry, and we want to ensure that we are prepared to help each other and our clients in the best way possible -- but we cannot do this if we don’t take care of ourselves. By using the tips above, we are able to put ourselves first and provide the best work for our clients.