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What is “Conference Call Fatigue” and What Are Some Ways to Manage its Effects?

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conference call fatigue

Have you ever logged out of your last conference call for the day and found yourself feeling completely drained? If so, you’re not alone. In the last year, conference calls on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet have increased tremendously. 

While there are a lot of benefits to online meetings, there are also many challenges. These challenges include new expectations for being available at all times and work-life interferences. Conference call fatigue comes from how we process information on a video call. A frequent amount of calls and online meetings can make us feel tired, overwhelmed and stressed feeling remote workers experience from frequent calls and online meetings. 

Does this feeling sound familiar to you? If so, learn how to make video calls easier to manage with our 5 tips below.

1. Schedule Frequent Breaks

Back-to-back online meetings and jumping immediately from task to task can be exhausting. A helpful way to break up the day is to schedule intentional breaks. If you can, try to schedule 15-minute breaks between meetings and classes. 

Taking frequent, short breaks will improve your focus and add variation to your work day. Check out our blog on how to stay active at home for tips on how to best use these breaks.

2. Prioritize Your Time

It is important to prioritize a work-life balance. After leaving work, turn off your digital devices and focus on relaxing and recharging for the next day. If you have more tasks than you can handle that need immediate attention, don’t be afraid to pass them off to someone you trust. 

Communicating with others about your workload can help relieve some of your anxiety and set reasonable expectations with yourself and your coworkers.

3. Avoid Multitasking

On a busy day, multitasking can be hard to resist. However, research has shown multitasking not only affects memory, but also makes performing simple tasks more difficult. Improve your performance by removing distractions. In other words, put your phone away and close any tabs that might distract you. It is also helpful to start your day with a to-do list to break up big tasks.

Setting aside time to devote each task individually will make your outputs stronger, make your workload feel more manageable, and leave you feeling accomplished at the end of the day. 

4. Turn Off Your Camera

In an in-person meeting, attendees are typically either looking at the speaker or taking notes. In a video conference, everyone is looking at everyone, all the time. Having our camera on when we are on video calls can lead us to assume everyone is paying close attention to every move we make. However, that is not necessarily true. Turning off your camera can reduce anxiety and provide a more comfortable environment for you to focus on your work. 

5. Rest Your Eyes

If you suffer from exhaustion, it is probably from staring at a screen all day. Blue light reduction tools can help protect your vision and contribute to healthier sleep habits.

For some, the 20-20-20 Rule for your eyes is also very helpful. This rule states that for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, take 20 seconds to look at something from 20 feet away. Over time, this practice can help relax your eye muscles. Actively taking the time to give your eyes a rest can decrease the likelihood of headaches and even improve your sleep. 

Online learning and remote working are challenging adjustments. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make video conferencing less intimidating and more productive. You can adapt to these conditions by implementing these practices to keep you alert, attentive, and well-rested. 
 

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