How to Minimize Zoom Fatigue: 8 Tips for Staying Energized During Video Calls

It’s no secret that virtual meetings, video calls, and digital gatherings have become staples of our lives over the last year.

While video conferencing technology such as Zoom has made it easy to stay connected with colleagues, friends and family, there are certain drawbacks, such as Zoom fatigue.

This term refers to the physical and mental exhaustion caused by sitting in front of a computer and interacting with people through a screen – something that a lot of us are all too familiar with.

Unfortunately, Zoom fatigue isn’t something that can be wished away. You need to take a thoughtful, proactive approach if you want to reduce the amount of energy you expend on Zoom calls.

That’s why today, we’re presenting you with 8 easy and effective tips to help reduce Zoom fatigue and stay energized during your video calls. So without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

What is Zoom Fatigue Syndrome?

On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has allowed us to keep up with our work and social lives from the comfort of home.

Virtual meeting platforms like Zoom have allowed us to remain connected while we stay apart physically, allowing us to conduct business around the globe without leaving our homes. However, video conferencing has also come with its own set of challenges including Zoom fatigue syndrome.

Zoom fatigue syndrome (ZFS) is a state of exhaustion caused by the cognitive strain of prolonged video conferencing.

The constant need to focus and respond quickly as well as being on video adds to an individual’s stress levels— not only do they need to pay attention, but they also need to keep themselves looking presentable and engage in verbal communication via video with an array of people all at once. This strain often results in reduced productivity rates, anxiety, and depression if left unchecked.

There is debate about whether this new phenomenon is genuinely a real affliction or simply an extension of existing tech fatigue.

On one side, proponents argue that Zoom calls have created unique challenges that traditional phone calls or in-person meetings do not present resulting in excessive mental stress.

On the other hand, opponents argue that Zoom fatigue is simply a result of overutilization of digital devices which lead to political arguments and physical distraction due to not being completely focused in the meeting.

Despite where one stands on the issue, it’s undeniable that Zoom fatigue can create feelings of disconnection and nonproductiveness among teams and associates.

With the right precautions taken however, it is possible to minimize these effects and still efficiently get important matters accomplished while maintaining good mental health. The next section will discuss causes of Zoom fatigue and how organizations can address them before they turn into serious issues for participants.

  • A survey of 2,000 people by the mental health organization Mind found that 76% of respondents said they had experienced symptoms of “Zoom fatigue”.

Causes of Zoom Fatigue

Zoom fatigue is a term describing the physical and mental exhaustion caused by constantly participating in video calls. It is easy to understand why this phenomenon has become increasingly common due to the increase in remote work and online learning necessitated by the pandemic.

While engaging in virtual conversations, people often notice themselves draining more quickly than when interacting face-to-face. This may cause them to dread and even avoid digital connections with colleagues and peers.

The effects of Zoom fatigue can be attributed to various aspects of remote communication, which includes prolonged direct eye contact, increased cognitive load, limited opportunities for social cues, disrupted natural lighting, feeling “on display” due to always being on camera, plus much more.

Prolonged direct eye contact is one of the most difficult things for people to manage while on calls—and it’s also one of the most essential elements of body language that people use in everyday life.

Even though it’s not intentional, excessive eye contact through video conferencing can be viewed as intrusive where as brief glances would normally come across as polite in a face-to-face interaction.

Cognitive load is another contributing factor to Zoom fatigue.

Our brains have to interpret facial expressions, interpret vocal tones and phrases, manage time since conversations don’t flow naturally like they do during in-person interactions, keep track of when you have spoken or need to speak and pay attention to consistent changes without varying environmental clues such as physical distance or interruption from an external source.

All this requires tremendous amounts of effort from your brain and can lead to overwhelming fatigue both mentally and physically.

At the same time, debates about these causes are ongoing as there are regards for differences in screen time usage and mental processes involved between traditional settings and technology-driven ones.

Such discussions can thus empower us to expand our understanding of this phenomenon and develop techniques that enable us to better cope with it while still maintaining healthy work output levels.

To sum up, a variety of factors can contribute to Zoom fatigue–from prolonged direct eye contact to increased cognitive load–which are further compounded by interrupted natural lighting, feeling “on display” due to always being on camera, limited opportunities for social cues, plus many more.

With careful consideration of these variables, we can begin addressing the issue of Zoom fatigue head-on and move forward with exploring solutions for managing it. In the next section we will look at ways to minimize mental exhaustion during video calls – tackling the issue from both a physical and mental perspective.

Mental Fatigue

Mental fatigue is a common side effect of virtual meetings, as the act of constantly staying alert and engaged in a Zoom call or other video meeting can be exhausting.

Without the ability to rely on physical contact or face-to-face conversations, virtual meetings can quickly become tedious. Additionally, since we’re often working remotely, feelings of social isolation can exacerbate mental fatigue during these meetings.

To combat mental fatigue during video calls, it’s important to remember that being flexible during meetings is key. Meeting-goers should allow for small pauses in conversation to give everyone a break, practice active listening skills by nodding, and make eye contact with the camera if appropriate.

These small gestures can help people remain engaged and stay involved in the discussion without feeling overwhelmed.

Incorporating variety into virtual meetings can also be beneficial in addressing mental fatigue. People should not feel as though every video conference has to follow the same exact format—alternating between what each participant brings to the table, using polls or online debates, or playing virtual games such as “Heads Up” that require interaction can add a little fun for all attendees.

This variety will hold people’s attention longer than traditional formats do and help reduce mental fatigue over time.

Finally, continuing to check in with participants outside of scheduled planning sessions can further ensure that nobody feels isolated during the workday.

Even just taking two minutes out of each day to ask how someone is doing outside of work or engaging in a casual conversation can keep individuals feeling connected and help them avoid feelings of stress and anxiety associated with constant video calls.

Now that we’ve discussed ways to minimize mental fatigue, let’s take a look at strategies to prevent physical fatigue during virtual meetings.

Top Summary Points

Mental fatigue is a common side effect of virtual meetings, caused by the difficulty of staying constantly alert and engaged in virtual conversations. To combat mental fatigue during video calls, meeting-goers should allow for pauses, practice active listening skills and make eye contact with the camera when appropriate.

Incorporating variety into online meetings, such as through games or debates, can also help reduce feelings of exhaustion. Additionally, continuing to check in with participants outside of scheduled sessions can further reduce feelings of isolation and stress associated with constant video calls. Finally, strategies for preventing physical fatigue during virtual meetings should also be discussed.

Physical Fatigue

Physical fatigue is an often overlooked part of Zoom fatigue. Sitting in the same spot and staying motionless for prolonged periods of time can cause aches, pains, and additional fatigue.

Although it might be more convenient to take a video call while sitting on the couch, this comes with diminishing returns over time. For example, a recent study found that people who worked in the same position while using video conferencing apps reported exhaustion twice as quickly as those who changed their position during the session.

There are arguments to be made on both sides of physical fatigue. On one hand, having a comfortable spot to talk can help reduce discomfort due to poor posture and decrease distractions during calls.

On the other hand, if you are not moving around regularly or changing your work environment, it can lead to extra strain on your body, as well as mental exhaustion from being in the same area for long periods of time.

Finding ways to incorporate movement into your day can drastically reduce physical fatigue from Zoom calls. Starting with small changes like standing up during calls or taking short breaks throughout the day will help alleviate some of the strain put on your body from sitting continuously for hours at a time.

To sum up, physical fatigue can be an issue for Zoom calls if people do not move around enough during sessions. With just a few small changes such as standing up or taking regular breaks during video calls, you can dramatically reduce physical fatigue and make working through virtual video conferences a much easier task. Now let’s take a look at some tips and tricks on how to minimize Zoom fatigue overall.

Ways to Minimize Zoom Fatigue

Minimizing Zoom fatigue is a prioritized concern for many video conference users, particularly as the demand for virtual meetings and engagements grows.

Although this type of remote communication often feels tiring or monotonous, there are several tactics to help minimize Zoom fatigue and enhance engagement.

First and foremost, consider adopting hybrid meeting options for your organization’s internal meetings.

When possible, it is more effective to allow part of the team to meet face-to-face while others join via video. Hybrid meetings help maintain a natural flow of conversation and ideas without overworking any one member within the group.

Next, create an environment where all voices can be heard. Allowing people who have not been speaking to voice their ideas during a call can reduce the mental strain of staying engaged throughout longer conversations.

It also prevents dominant personalities from taking over the conversation, which is often tiring for those who may feel intimidated or not given enough time to think through their response in a virtual setting.

Adjusting the length of the meeting should be taken into consideration too. Working on multiple hour long tasks day after day can be exhausting; when running virtual meetings, break down multi-hour tasks into shorter bursts so that every person can remain productive and attentive during calls.

Furthermore, if you are participating in multiple meetings in one day, schedule breaks between each session to give yourself some time to step away and recharge before jumping into the next virtual room.

Lastly, allow for some background noise within conversations. Allowing someone’s pet or children to make special appearances can make a presentation more personalized and less overwhelming for both parties involved. This tactic serves as an alternative to traditional methods of deploying focus questions or energizers at the beginning of the call.

By implementing these simple strategies, you will be able to keep Zoom fatigue at bay during your virtual meetings. Moving forward into the next section about reducing the amount of video meetings would further help maximize your energy reserves throughout the day without compromising productivity levels.

Reduce the Amount of Video Meetings

Reducing the amount of video meetings is a great way to minimize Zoom fatigue. If you find yourself in constant video calls or virtual meetings, it can be draining both physically and mentally.

To avoid this, it’s important to take a step back and assess your meeting schedule to determine whether any calls/meetings can be reduced or eliminated altogether. Doing so will give you more time in your day to take a break from the screen and engage in other activities that refresh your mind and body.

On the one hand, reducing the number of video meetings could be beneficial for productivity and wellness. It can create extra time for participants so they have opportunities to step away from their computers, get some fresh air, switch tasks, and bring in renewed energy into the next call.

On the other hand, reducing video meetings without evaluating what is necessary may lead to missed opportunities where valuable information was exchanged between parties.

To ensure that important topics and goals are covered while avoiding unnecessary drains on our mental energy, a sensible strategy may be to set up efficient agendas prior to the call with only points absolutely necessary for discussion and discussion points framed as questions instead of statements. This way all participants can come prepared and stay engaged throughout the meeting.

Now that we have covered how reducing the amount of video meetings can help reduce Zoom fatigue, let’s move on to talk about ways we can optimize our Zoom environments for productivity in the next section: “Setting Up a Comfortable Zoom Environment”.

Setting up a Comfortable Zoom Environment

Creating an environment where video call participants feel comfortable and energized can be the single most important factor in reducing Zoom fatigue.

Something as simple as adjusting the brightness or angle of the laptop can make all the difference during longer calls. Here are some specific tips for optimizing your Zoom space:

1. Have Appropriate Lighting: Poor lighting can be incredibly distracting, leading to eye strain or distraction from the conversation at hand.

To ensure optimal comfort when using Zoom, take the time to assess your lighting situation before starting a meeting. It may be helpful to find a spot with natural light coming in from a window, as well as supplementing with an additional lamp in dimmer rooms.

2. Invest in Headphones: Avoid having endless background noise distract you while on video. Investing in headphones will help both you and the other participants avoid words getting jumbled together, allowing people to focus on the conversation instead of environmental distractions.

3. Watch Your Background: Make sure there is nothing too distracting in view behind you when on camera that could potentially detract from the meeting at hand. If possible, try to choose a neutral backdrop such as a wall or bookshelf which won’t draw attention away from the main objective – staying energized and productive.

4. Balance Temperature: Being too hot or cold can quickly sap energy, making it difficult for team members to stay focused during longer calls. Take the time to adjust your thermostat accordingly beforehand so you don’t waste valuable minutes during meetings experimenting with heat and AC settings

Although many of these steps are simple adjustments that require minimal investment of resources or thought, they can have a lasting positive impact on your team’s productivity and morale over long periods of video call usage.

Taking proactive steps towards setting up an optimal Zoom environment for yourself and team members will ensure everyone feels comfortable participating with maximum energy and enthusiasm as needed throughout each call!

Next, we will look at how we can manage distractions while on Zoom calls, so that we can remain focused throughout even longer conversations!

Managing Distractions

Managing Distractions: A key part of reducing Zoom fatigue is being able to avoid distractions and stay focused during lengthy video calls.

On the one hand, research suggests it is best to limit cognitive switches between tasks and therefore focus on one conversation or task at a time. This helps build momentum and encourages participants to stay engaged with each other.

On the other hand, some people may need a few minutes here and there to refocus throughout the call. Each individual should take into consideration what works best for them when trying to manage distractions.

Some helpful tips for avoiding distractions during Zoom meetings include: turning off notifications on personal devices such as cell phones; ensuring all participants are visible in the frame; using visual cues such as changing background images; using breaks or activities to keep meetings engaging; not multitasking while on a video call; eliminating unnecessary conversations that can be had once the call has ended; minimizing audio and visual noise coming from meeting spaces; and having an agenda ahead of time so everyone knows the purpose of the call.

To further reduce distractions, utilizing breakout rooms can provide participants with an opportunity for side conversations, an environment where smaller groups can brainstorm ideas or complete short activities, or moments where individuals can take a break before rejoining back in the main meeting.

In the next section, we will discuss why utilizing breakout rooms is such an effective tool for staying energized during video calls.

Utilizing Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms are a useful tool for reducing Zoom fatigue during video conference calls. A breakout room is a separate “room” created within the larger video call, allowing participants to break off into smaller groups to work on a particular task or discuss a specific topic in greater detail.

This provides an opportunity for people to engage in more meaningful and productive conversations as they can zoom in to discuss their ideas without the distraction of other participants in the main chat.

Advocates of using breakout rooms suggest that it can reduce Zoom fatigue by giving participants respite from large group conversations and providing them with an opportunity to have more focused discussions.

As well as increasing collaboration between team members and fostering innovation, these smaller discussions can be particularly energizing for virtual teams who might not have seen each other for some time or those who lack strong relationships with their colleagues—breakouts allow everyone an equal chance to express themselves without interruption.

However, there can be drawbacks to using breakout rooms. If participants don’t know each other well, they may be unable to trust one another enough to open up, leading to awkward silences or inactivity.

It is also essential that any discussion held in the breakout room be followed up upon after the fact; otherwise, it can easily become pointless. Furthermore, if not managed correctly, breakout rooms can cause feelings of isolation among certain individuals who may feel left out or segmented from the group.

Overall, when used appropriately breakout rooms provide an excellent opportunity to increase engagement levels during video conference calls and are ideal for reducing Zoom fatigue over long periods of time.

However, careful consideration must be given when utilizing this feature in order to ensure that all participants feel included and comfortable in the conversation.

Answers to Common Questions

Are there any products that help reduce Zoom fatigue?

Yes, there are several products available that can help reduce Zoom fatigue. For example, noise-canceling headphones are great for blocking out background noises that can be distracting during video calls.

Investing in a high-quality headset will also help improve audio quality so you don’t have to strain to understand what the other participants are saying. And programs such as can help filter out distracting sounds from the environment and reduce ambient noise levels during your video call.

Finally, consider using an ergonomic mouse and keyboard to better support your hands, wrists, and arms during long video calls to prevent muscle strain. These products can all help increase comfort and focus while reducing fatigue.

What are the long-term effects of Zoom fatigue?

The long-term effects of Zoom fatigue are not yet known, but it is believed that they can be significant. Research suggests that Zoom fatigue can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate existing mental health issues and potentially lead to more serious consequences over time.

Furthermore, the sustained focus required to engage in frequent video calls can lead to burnout, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and reduced ability to pay attention during other activities. This means people who spend a lot of time in virtual meetings may be at risk for developing physical and psychological exhaustion due to the strain on their minds and bodies.

Finally, Zoom fatigue can have an impact on productivity; when participants are constantly bombarded with audio and visual cues from multiple sources, it can become difficult to stay focused on the task at hand.

What tips can I use to reduce Zoom fatigue?

1. Take frequent breaks: Breaks help you stay focused and energized during video calls. Try to take 15-30 second breaks between each call or meeting. Get up, stretch and take a few steps away from your desk. If possible, step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.

2. Schedule short meetings: Try to keep your virtual meetings short, ideally at 30 minutes or less. This will help you stay engaged and avoid feeling drained over the course of the day. If a longer meeting is absolutely necessary, break it into two smaller 20 minute sessions with 5-10 minutes in between for a quick break (see tip 1).

3. Arrange for regular social conversations: Building strong relationships is key to having effective conversations, even if by Zoom or phone. Schedule weekly check-ins with those you work closely with so you can catch up and share the latest developments or news related to your project/work. These regular conversations will help reduce the sense of isolation and fatigue associated with remote working on video calls all day long.

4. Invite people to turn off their cameras: Studies have shown that our brains process audio information faster than video information when we are engaging in conversations with others. You can reduce Zoom fatigue by inviting people to turn off their cameras during conversations or making sure that there are no more than 2-3 people speaking at any one time. This can also make it easier for everyone to stay focused in conversation as they won’t need to constantly move their eyes back and forth, trying to follow who is talking and how they are responding.

5. Adjust Lighting & Backgrounds: Adjusting lighting and backgrounds can significantly improve how we engage in conversation over Zoom or other video conferencing platforms such as Hangouts and Skype. Natural light is best – if you can position yourself near a window this will give you the most flattering appearance while reducing eye strain from artificial lights in the room. Additionally, make sure your background isn’t too distracting as this can also cause fatigue due to its lack of focus on participants in the meeting/call

6 . Use screen sharing sparingly: It’s important not to overuse screen sharing during video calls as this can cause fatigue due to too much visual stimulation which can lead to distraction from the primary purpose of the call itself – conversing with peers about specific topics (as opposed to looking at different slides together). Instead try using chat boxes or white boarding tools for discussing specific points or ideas with colleagues without constantly needing to refer back to shared screens.

7 . Invest in better tech: Invest in better quality headphones and cameras that have noise cancellation capabilities as this will reduce visual noise