Feeling Fatigued

Dear Dr. Jim,
What is Zoom fatigue, because I think I may have it. What can I do about it?
-Barb*

 

Hi Barb,

So called Zoom fatigue, from my perspective, is a result of all the things that already weren’t working well in face-to-face meetings. When we moved in-person meetings to Zoom or Microsoft Team, what happened is people didn’t adjust to the new format. Some people were against being on camera (which I think is a huge mistake) and it revealed that many meetings were not very well run to begin with. Here are some tips:

1. In online meetings it’s important to connect with each other. Start off everybody with something like “What’s going on with you?” or “How are you coming to this meeting?”

2. It is absolutely crucial that an agenda be made and sent out to everybody 24 hours before. Ensure that you move through the agenda and that everybody helps to move it along.

3. Some people like to talk a lot and some people don’t ever speak up. It’s everyone’s responsibility to curtail that. The organizer can and should call on people in order to keep a balanced forum.

4. Do a check in every once in a while by asking what’s going well and what needs improvement to help keep your team focused and on target.

There’s a lot more to it, like the whole technical part of running a meeting so that people aren’t distracted by bad camera angles or lighting. Fixing those elements will help, too. It is a difficult thing to get used to, you might even want to take some training on how to run online meetings well. -Dr. Jim

-Dr. Jim

*names have been changed