Zoom fatigue is a new concept and a part of life for many in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Who hasn’t had back-to-back meetings staring at a screen? Here are a few things you can do to minimize fatigue and improve your online meeting mental and physical health:
1. NIGHT LIGHT: On a PC set your “Night Light” settings (Night Shift on a Mac) which will turn off the blue light and is easier on your eyes.
2. TRY COMPUTER GLASSES: Many companies make glasses for extended computer use with anti-glare and blue light filtering. These can reduce eye strain and lessen stress.
3. TURN OFF YOUR SELF VIEW: Once you join a meeting, set your shot and make sure you are in the frame then turn off your self view. We have a tendency to watch ourselves and being reflected constantly diverts your attention, raises anxiety and adds to stress. Give yourself a break and shut off your self view.
4. TURN OFF GRID VIEW: In video meetings it is natural to try to track every face, but in a normal meeting many people are out of our field of view, which allows us to focus on who is speaking. In grid view we tend to try to track all movement and this can lead to overstimulation and stress. At your next meeting try setting your Zoom window to “Speaker view” and focus on who is speaking.
5. RESIZE YOUR ZOOM WINDOW: A giant face on the screen can be intimidating and unsettling. Instead of always being full screen, try resizing your Zoom window so the face on your screen is more realistic in size.
6. AVOID MULTITASKING: Everyone is guilty of listening to a meeting while trying to multitask, answering emails, chat, etc. This can increase your stress level and leads to greater Zoom fatigue. Try closing your email and chat during meetings. You can take this a step further and try turning on “Focus Assist” to block out notifications during meetings. This will help remove distractions and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
7. GET UP AND MOVE: For those that didn’t know, Zoom has a mobile app for iOS and Android, so try taking your meeting somewhere else, another room, outside, etc. You can turn your camera off, plug in headphones or use a wireless headset and take your meeting to a new location for a change of pace and some extra exercise.
8. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MEETINGS: Before scheduling a Zoom meeting ask yourself “Can I handle this with an email or phone call?” Reducing the number of Zoom meetings will do wonders for reducing Zoom fatigue.
9. TAKE A BREAK: Especially after long meetings or a morning of back-to-back video calls, it’s important to take a break from the screen. Get up, move around, let your brain relax and adjust to your surroundings — maybe try a short meditation before moving on with other tasks or another Zoom call.
10. SET THE STAGE FOR SUCCESS: Many of us are working from home with pets, children and a myriad other disruptions. Be kind and understanding to yourself and others in meetings. These distractions are going to happen and we need to laugh it off and not be so serious. Enjoy these moments of humanity!
Video Support Specialist
Jerry Dragon is a video conferencing administrator for the UA Office of Information Technology (OIT). He has 14 years of video conferencing experience and was the lead technician in launching Zoom across the UA campuses. Jerry is the current subject matter expert for Zoom with 100+ hours as a trainer for the UA Zoom environment.