Whether you work from home full-time, from the office full-time, or do a hybrid model, it’s evident that video meeting services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are still roaring in full force. It certainly seems they are here to stay! So, how can you keep them manageable and fight possible video fatigue? Consider these tips to help keep your energy level up throughout the work week!
Avoid Looking at Yourself
While everyone wants to look their best at work, constantly switching from looking at yourself, to your colleagues, and then bouncing from screenshares and presentations — visual information overload may ensue. Most video conferencing systems allow you to turn off visibility of yourself. With this feature, others can still see you, but your visual representation is no longer a focus of your attention nor added clutter on your screen. If the nature of the meeting allows, you may also consider minimizing your view of everyone else. Perhaps the meeting is more of a status check-in rather than an active presentation, and you can treat it more like a conference call and focus on active listening and note taking without video distractions.
Schedule Video Call Times with Purpose
While we’re certainly not suggesting setting your video calls before your coffee kicks in, having video meetings in the first half of the day may prove to be better for your mental stamina. By the end of the day, it’s likely you’re thinking about new tasks that have popped up and just generally drained from a busy work day. Although we realize if you have offices all over the country [like KM does], it can be challenging to coordinate early calls within different time zones, but you can usually find a sweet slot within the AM hours that works well. Also be sure you’re considerate of those who might sign offline earlier than you. Scheduling a 3:30 call, when other attendees sign off at 4 o’clock doesn’t typically breed the type of synergy you’re looking for with a video meeting.
Mute Your Microphone
We are all still mastering the mute button [Pro Tip: it’s all about the space bar, people!] That being said, utilizing the mute button appropriately helps get through video calls much more efficiently. Since it’s possible the meeting attendees aren’t the only ones working from home, [i.e. spouses, roommates, kiddos, pets, etc.] disruption is lurking around every corner. The mute button helps provide less distraction from unanticipated participants. It also allows a better opportunity for the speaker to share without being interrupted by audio feedback.
Create Video-less Days
Think of this tip as the remote world’s answer to casual Friday. Select an agreed upon day per week as a team and commit to no video calls. For obvious reasons, there will be exceptions to “the rule” depending on cross-department or client calls that may pop up, but it’s a good way to help create some balance and necessary focus time in this hybrid world. It also gives employees one day where they can stress a little bit less about dressing up and/or slapping on make-up. This idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds — Citibank recently announced a ban on video calls on Fridays to help combat fatigue!