eight steps to fight video convention fatigue

Since many of us spend their days in virtual meetings, we recognize the energy consumption when we stare directly at our colleagues from just a few meters in two dimensions. This is usually not the case for face-to-face meetings where you follow the conversation in a natural and simple way, as if you were watching a sing-along. The conversation is a bit of a bouncing ball that naturally moves your head and attention to keep up with the dialogue. There are breaks in the conversation – both literally and figuratively – that allow a little charging of the batteries or at least a few moments to take a breath, think and regroup.

In addition, in virtual meetings, you process notices and notices from several people at the same time. Not to mention the inability to move. All of this can make you feel overwhelmed and / or literally overloaded.

8 steps to combat video conference fatigue

So what can you do to minimize video conference fatigue?

  1. Ask yourself, do I really need a video conference for this conversation?? Make sure that using video is the right choice compared to a phone call or email chain.
  2. Make sure that you are in the "Speaker View". Make sure that the person speaking is highlighted and that no tiles are shown for all participants in the meeting. This makes a virtual meeting feel more like a real meeting.
  3. Avoid multitasking. Focus on the conversation and do not try to do other things while listening. This increases complexity and can be even more demanding.
  4. Take notes. Taking notes draws your attention away from the screen and can be helpful to codify discussions. It can also be useful for getting a brief email summary of the meeting headings and next steps – a best practice for each meeting and one of the most effective ways to use email.
  5. Build breaks into your day. Plan the time to get out of your chair – have a drink, walk around, do a quick housework.
  6. Turn off your camera. Turn off your camera when you’re mainly in Listen Only mode and / or when it’s a large group meeting. It may be time to listen and recharge your batteries.
  7. Go to meetings. If it's late in the day and / or if you're meeting someone you don't know, ask yourself if a call can be enough. Everyone involved would probably appreciate the opportunity for a non-video meeting.
  8. Finally, remember that frequent video conferencing is new. Trying something new means learning how to do well in it. So take a break while deciding how the video works best for you.

An Italian management professor said this on Twitter about video fatigue:

"It is easier to be in the presence or absence of the other than in the constant presence of the other."

That is, it is easier to be with someone face to face or not to be around at all than to be with them virtually and be aware of how far away you are. In other words, it is a separate connection.

I understand – but so many of us work today and like most times in our lives, the most effective leaders find out how they can "get it going" as best as possible.

How can you adjust your habits to minimize video fatigue for this moment of work?

– –David Grossman

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