Zoom Fatigue: How to Stay Focused Working from Home

Zoom fatigue is a term for the physical and mental exhaustion caused by constant video calls and conferencing. Zoom fatigue can present itself through symptoms like eye strain, headaches or increased anxiety and disengagement https://remotemode.net/blog/remote-work-burnout-fatigue-and-how-to-avoid-it/ during video calls. This fatigue can also be caused by any form of video conferencing software, including Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more. For better or for worse, video calls are a part of the new normal.

  • All of this can lead to increased stress, a constant sense of needing to be “on” and “available,” less physical exercise or movement, and less downtime or “transitional” space to relax the mind in between meetings.
  • Recent figures show that 40% of remote employees are suffering from physical and mental exhaustion due to prolonged screen engagement.
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  • When the COVID pandemic swept through the country last year, companies rapidly transitioned employees to working from home.

For example, if someone looks at something off-screen, we don’t know the context and therefore don’t understand why they’re distracted. We must also work harder to understand the body language of our colleagues. But when we can only see one another’s heads, we have to exaggerate our facial expressions to make sure we’re understood.

Schedule Breaks Between Video Calls

Video calls are often conducted with the parties sitting in front of their computer with their cameras on. To stay within the camera’s range, people often limit their movement, rather than having the freedom to move about or stretch as they would in an in-person meeting. As a result, that lack of movement can create body aches, Sorenson said. You may also benefit from getting up and stretching and practicing deep breathing before and after video conferencing calls. If you have any influence over meting schedules, plan to allow time for those much-needed cognitive breaks.

One hard part about Zoom meetings is the expectation of professionalism. There can be a lot of pressure to commit to every meeting and task due to the false equivalence of being at home meaning “not working,” but we all know that’s not the case. There are always going to be meetings that you can’t get out of attending, but there are also ones that you can most definitely pass on (or watch a recording of later). And then there are the random Slack calls that sometimes pop up, unannounced. Some companies require their employees to dress as if they’re coming to work.

‘Zoom Fatigue’ Is Real — Here’s How to Cope (and Make It Through Your Next Meeting)

If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to take care of yourself. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Never miss out on the latest innovative health care https://remotemode.net/ content tailored to you. In these difficult times, we’ve made a number of our coronavirus articles free for all readers. To get all of HBR’s content delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Daily Alert newsletter.

Zoom makes it hard to have a human connection with those on the other side of the screen, and the need to keep things human can make workers tired. No matter what video conferencing platform you use, the cognitive overload of trying to make human communication via a camera and a computer screen has its consequences. Working at home leads to high levels of mental demand that reduces productivity, especially for parents or people with a shared workplace.