Video conferencing fatigue is real, and you are not the only one feeling it. Whether you’re burned out on feeling like you have to be “on” or exhausted from work colliding with your responsibilities at home, you’re probably familiar with feeling tired after a day of video calls. So let’s take a look at a few strategies for mitigating stress and avoiding video conferencing burnout.
It’s probably not feasible to claim total control of your scheduling--we are always at least a little bit beholden to the needs of our colleagues and bosses--but whenever possible, be smart about your scheduling and block out times that you will not be available for video calls. Depending on your preferences, you can block out certain hours of the day or even an entire day every week, but however you manage it, make sure you have video-free stretches to look forward to, and be sure to protect the sanctity of these “no meeting” times. They are good for you, and therefore good for the company.
Just Say No
It’s okay to say no sometimes. While we wouldn’t advise bailing on an important video conference with a new client, there are times when turning town a video conference request is perfectly reasonable, especially if you offer a viable alternative. Suggest a telephone conversation or ask if the video conference can wait a day or two. Only you know just how much video conferencing you can handle, and if you’ve reached your limit, it's okay to say no.
Turn Off Your Camera
During lengthy meetings with many attendees, you should feel no compunction about giving your brain a break by turning off your camera. It might be a good idea to discuss camera etiquette with your colleagues or manager ahead of time, to understand when cameras should be on and off. That way, everyone will be on the same page, and you can maintain the expected level of professionalism.
Stick To The Agenda
If you’ve been tasked with leading a meeting, the number one thing you can do to help yourself and others is stick to the agenda. We’ve all logged far too many hours in front of our screens over the past year. The last thing anyone needs is a poorly managed video conference that goes too late. Make an agenda and stick to it. Everyone will appreciate you for keeping the meeting on track and getting them out of there in a timely fashion.
Use Text-Based Communication
Video is an ideal medium for making lasting connections with people. It’s a great way to brainstorm and foster personal relationships with clients and colleagues alike. But it’s not always necessary. Some things can just as easily be sorted out via email. When you’re thinking about inviting people to a video meeting, ask yourself: is video necessary for this particular exchange? If not, write an email, send a text, use your chat tools. Video is great, but be sure asking for dedicated time to talk is the best form of communication.
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