However, the effects this might have on our working habits could be far from negative. More flexible working and schedules, better infrastructure and more investment in technology are some of the positives we may see come from this situation.
Flexible working requires additional communication technology where teams and projects are concerned, such as zoom and other video conferencing software. As we’ve mentioned in the past few weeks, there are many possible causes behind zoom fatigue, but this week we’ll be looking at some of the possible solutions.
Not every meeting outside of the workplace or educational environment needs to be a video meeting – although some people tend to default to them, simply because they’re available. Perhaps obviously, the biggest issue and biggest cause of zoom fatigue is actually overuse.
If you’re calling a meeting, first consider what needs to be accomplished. Video conferencing, screen sharing and real-time collaborative virtual whiteboards are fantastic tools, but they can drag out meetings or make them more complicated than necessary. Consider if people actually need to be able to see one another to collaborate, or if the meeting could be conducted over the phone or even email.
Don’t require people (or yourself) to keep cameras on for extended periods if it’s unnecessary. For example, a video conference meeting could start with a 10-15 minute video session with all participants, but if there’s a presentation or single speaker, consider turning off video for participants for whom it’s not necessary, or at least allowing the option. This can have a positive impact on productivity and concentration, allowing people to relax a little later on while still keeping a short group social session to start off the meeting.
Another very important thing is to not let video conferencing sessions last much longer than they are scheduled, and to let people know in advance what the anticipated length is and when the meeting is scheduled for. People often lose valuable working time when face-to-face meetings overrun. While it sometimes becomes easier to handle and judge when a face-to-face meeting is veering off topic, it can be more difficult to do with video meetings.
It’s a good idea to schedule timeslots if you have a lot of topics or areas to cover, (or a lot of people needs to present ideas). Try to stick to that schedule as closely as possible, and don’t let the call last too much longer than its original scheduled time.
In next week’s blog we’ll continue looking into some of the solutions to zoom fatigue. Check back with us soon!