I am at home, but I feel more exhausted than before. To show the quantity of work we are accomplishing, my brilliant seniors and colleagues started conducting 6 to 8 virtual meetings every day.
A tiny concern that can have solved with a simple E-mail created a pavement for meetings.
I understand Virtual meetings are the new norm of normal life. Thanks to the Pandemic, we have the chance to work remotely. Microsoft teams recorded 2.7 billion meeting minutes on March 31st, a 200 percent increase from 900 million on March 16.
But is it necessary to sit in front of the camera and let it suck the energy out of ourselves?
According to a survey by Twingate reported in June 2020. A survey of 1,000 remote employees found: 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working remotely.
To stay connected, 45% of employees attended more meetings during the pandemic than when working in the office, whereas only 21% who attended fewer meetings.
- Employees attend an average of 3 meetings per day and would rather prefer two video calls per day (10 a week).
- On average, employees are attending up to seven hours of calls weekly and are attending 15 calls every week now.
- Two in five employees identified as having videoconference fatigue.
Also, Doodle surveyed over 1,100 U.S. employees also mentioned a full week of virtual meetings leaves 38% of employees feeling exhausted while 30% felt stressed. Employees are more exhausted during virtual office workday than before.
Why too many virtual meetings are energy-sucking?
1. Anxious about external factors.
Most of us are anxious about the external factors that might occur in the background, like a kid running in the room or noise in the background.
2. Try to look presentable and engaged is stressful.
During the virtual meetings, we keep staring at our face and strive to look engaged and attentive. We continue to look at our faces, which is very stressful.
3. No break from screens
Many companies have the culture of having meetings in the cafeteria or break room during a coffee break that allows us to stay away from the screens. We have to be on the screens more during virtual meetings, which is tiring.
4. Video calls are harder compared to face-to-face conversation
When we communicate our mind takes non-verbal cues into consideration like — Body language, hand gestures, and voice modulations. But during video chats, our mind needs to work harder to process non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, the tone, and pitch of the voice. Which makes it even harder, and it becomes a tiring task.
A Final Word: How to combat video call fatigue-
Avoiding meetings is not possible, but we can reduce their adversarial effects on our minds. You can do any of the following steps to reduce fatigue.
- Try taking mini-breaks in between the calls. Either completely look away from the computer or minimize the video call window for some time.
- Try to switch to audio calls if possible instead of video all the time.
- Limit the virtual meetings time to 30 minutes or at a time or take breaks during a long meeting.
- Limit the total number of meetings in a day.
- Avoid multitasking in between. Put your phone away or close tabs that can distract you. In the hope of multitasking, you might be more distracted, which can lead to fatigue.