What is Zoom fatigue and how to deal with it at the earliest

Many of us have been working from home due to Coronavirus and it has meant getting used to Zoom calls. It has caused mental fatigue that we must deal with.

Besides the health and financial considerations, Covid-19 has also throttled the professional work space, in more than one way. Millions of people have to work out of their homes as social distancing norms have taken over the professional spaces.

Recurring Zoom meetings, and the obligation to remain online for meeting work-related obligations, can take a heavy toll on mental health, causing fatigue. So, if you are still working from home, and finding yourself fatigued due to ‘zoom fatigue’, then taking regular breaks and developing a wind-up routine will help you destress, and ward it off.

work from home
Work from home is turning out to be more stressful than we thought. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can deal with zoom fatigue

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, remote work and the use of video conferences have dramatically increased during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are fatigued from meeting through computer screens instead of in person.

Hence, establishing basic zoom meeting rules, and creating a routine around unwinding and taking breaks, will go a long way in managing fatigue:

Meeting rules:
Having a few key ground rules will help establish the boundaries, and set expectations amongst your peers. These rules could include guidelines on switching on the webcams, and the option of saying ‘no’ to meetings that do not require your presence mandatory. Another important rule could be to have a predefined agenda for meetings, zero disturbance during lunch and post-work hours, and scheduling of short fifteen-minute calls for non-critical subject matters.

Take a break:
Constant screen time can be harmful for your eyes, and could cause stress. So, ensure to take constant breaks, in which you look away from the screen, keep the water intake regular, stand up to stretch, and also try to walk around. This will help deliver oxygen to your bloodstream and lungs, reduce stress levels, and fight fatigue.

zoom fatigue
Zoom fatigue can affect your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Build a wind-up routine:
Routines, as per research by Northwestern Medicine, helps in managing stress, sleep and meal timings, contributing to better health. Remote working has blurred the lines between personal and professional boundaries. So indulging in activities such as listening to music, meditating, exercising, or reading your favorite book, will help reduce stress levels, and avoid fatigue.

Before the advent of the zoom call era, we generally found time to take coffee breaks with colleagues or create an unwind post-work routine. However, for those of you, who are still working from home, these options are no longer viable, due to the risk of transmission of viruses and lockdowns. Hence, adopting these measures will help manage fatigue!

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