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I read this article from the BBC today and thought I must share it here! - https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting

I thought I was the only one who gets tired and stressed dealing with all these video calls. I am an introvert and thought it was that, but in the article it states that it is impacting everyone.

At the end it is very light and ways to help deal with the many issues it brings up. Any advice from the Community?

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  • Thanks for the share Vicky. It is a really intersting article and brings up so many different view points!

    I thought this point below is something to consider:4493396898?profile=RESIZE_710x

    Something to consider, explaining to people before the sessions that it can cause issues. Much like reading a text in a different way to what the sender intended. Perhaps some more points to check in that everyone is happy, rather than rely on what you think you saw. 

    And a point about camera use I think really needs to talked about. We rarely run an entire training session with just the facilitator using webcam let alone everyone on webcam. Meetings can be a different situation but I think some of the main points still persist, people getting distracted and cognitive load. The article put it this way:

    4493416938?profile=RESIZE_710x

    We find that some new facilitators are looking forward to working online and having the webcams off. They are not on display the whole time, it can reduce their stress and worry. I think this could be the same with virtual meetings. Worried about our background, where our camera is, what if I need a drink etc. Sometimes removing the camera and focus from people to the actual meat of the call.

    This point below from the article I can really identify with. When I started to work from home 3 years ago it was a major shock to the system and it can feel hard to switch off. Are you using Zoom calls or other software a lot more not just for work also? It can feel like everything is a bit of a reminder from work.4493439756?profile=RESIZE_710x

    I found this aspect got better over time, perhaps within a month. Now I don't think that much about living and working in the same place and using a lot of the tools i normally use for work socially also.

    Tips to avoid fatigue

    I think lots of people in the Community will have their own ideas. I will drop down some of my ideas but they are just ideas, you likely need to find what works best for you personally.

    • Webcams off. Try suggesting this for your next meeting or only the main speaker has the webcam on. You can say it can be an experiment, often people respond well to a test rather than saying this is going to be how it is!

    • Screen share the notes or talking points instead of the webcam. This might help people focus on the topics not everything else, also help with cognitive load and fatigue. Even just having a word document with bullet points and discussing it on the microphone with it as a reference on the screen could help

    • A lot of people seem to be jumping into video calls really quickly right now. Maybe suggest that there needs to be some kind of system in place to initiate a call. For example we need four bullet points to discuss and it requires multiple departments etc. A rule like this might make people realise that the problem can be solved with a quick email, not wasting time and precious energy which can be in short supply right now

    Those are my initial thoughts. Hopefully other members will find this article useful and share some of their own thoughts and tips!

  • I have been feeling the same. I have never had so many meetings and them all being online. I find it really hard to keep up with everyone on webcam, people talking over each other and I can't even consider looking at the chat also.

    • Defining what the session is and setting rules might help with this Hugh.

      • Define, is it a meeting, learning intervention, catch up chat, formal, informal?
        • Set the criteria to make it clear when someone wants to run a session, they know what session type it is and the rules for how it work
      • Set rules for each of the circumstances you find yourself in within your organisation
        • Meetings will have a maximum of X number of attendees
        • One person will chair the meeting
        • Chat will or not be used
        • Everyone on mute, raise hand to speak, chairperson will allow you to unmute then mute themselves

      Some kind of structure like this might help not just you but many people within your organisation. If the article tells us anything it is that this online meeting fatigue is not unique to certain individuals, you should not feel like the odd one out and opening up a dialog on this might reveal more people are struggling.

  • Thanks for the share Vicky, and very pertinent at the moment!

    Interesting the points that Mike picked out too - about being aware of being watched and lag of systems.

    All of this does make it a little harder and more challenging to be in online meetings. 

    Perhaps coming off of webcam can help in some instances. As well as the good old fashioned... does it even need to be a meeting :D

  • I've just read this from our friends at The Conversation Space - highlighting that perhaps one of the issues is too many people on calls adn that gets in the way of connecting. 

    https://www.theconversationspace.com/our-thinking/am-i-disconnectin...

    Am I disconnecting from connection?
    The more we can support each other and strengthen our human connection through conversation through the coming weeks, the better we will all emerge t…
  • I think you may accept everybody is coming across a stage of back to back meetings with different teams due to this remote working situation. All have tons of meetings to be done.  They’re starting to use tools to capture and remember those conversations better.

    In a way, this reduces the stress of making notes in a meeting.  Here's something cool I want to share that can make all these virtual meetings fun - Check out Marsview Notes, it’s a personal meeting assistant that connects with your Zoom and automatically takes notes on your behalf, captures meeting summaries, and sends the meetings minutes right into the attendee’s inbox after the event. 

    We have thousands of working professionals using Marsviewnotes to record, transcribe, and search their convos and stay on top of their deal flow. Something to maybe add to the list next time :P

  • This Training Journal article has some nice points at the end about how to be aware of emotional responses in live online sessions, so might help with the fatigue point: https://www.trainingjournal.com/articles/features/supporting-emotio...

    Supporting emotional participants during online group learning
    Pre Covid-19 most learning groups such as workshops and action learning sets were meeting face-to-face. Facilitators could manage the environment set…
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