You’ve likely been using video for meetings and calls for months now, and if you are feeling a little burnt out, you’re not alone. The constant pressure to be ‘video ready’ (placing a disproportionate burden on women and parents), technical issues, jumping back and forth to different platforms, and spotty bandwidth at your home office are all contributing factors to video exhaustion.
However, video isn’t going away, so we might as well learn how to manage it better, right? Let’s look at some tips from the pros on the best way to fight the fatigue going forward.
It happens to the best of us. To maximize productivity, we end up with back-to-back meetings filling up large portions of our calendar. Microsoft contributor, Laura MacLean, suggests scheduling in 20- or 50-minute sessions rather than the standard 30 or 60. This not only gives you 10 minutes between calls to ‘reset,’ but it also allows for time to complete action items from the call or prepare for the next call.
You may need to ask yourself – and others – is a video call necessary? Could the same conversation be just as effective over the phone or in a chat tool like Microsoft Teams? Psychologist Suzanne Degges-White recommends limiting video calls to only those that require multiple participants or screen sharing. In doing so, the stress and anxiety of face-to-face meetings are reduced, and the discussion is often more productive.
Your brain is used to seeing groups of people, but video meetings put everyone in their own little box. Using this Brady Bunch view of the attendees is taxing on the brain – like trying to watch 15 tiny TVs simultaneously. Success coach and registered psychotherapist, Hina Khan, proposes that attendees change the view to speaker mode so that only the person speaking is visible. This small change in your settings reduces distractions and over-stimulation during the meeting.
As many people have shifted to home offices, many are juggling work and home life in the process. A parent of a two-year-old may not be ‘video-ready’ for that 8 AM call, so give colleagues the opportunity to opt-out of video if they would like. Business News Daily author, Andrew Martins, urges readers not to force or shame others into turning on their video. You’ll find that giving yourself and others the freedom to choose will reduce burnout and promote more productive meetings.
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