COVID restrictions may be easing in LA on June 15 but, most Bruins will be spending their summer still in the virtual workplace, which means the increased cognitive demands of video conferencing continue. Pandemic-induced “Zoom fatigue” is real, so here’s how to proactively prevent and reduce this feeling and stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, like one of UCLA’s squirrels, on camera.
- Switch It Up: If possible, change your environment. This simple act is one of the most underrated things to do while experiencing Zoom fatigue and can help you stay alert. Being in the same place over and over again can be dull and draining.
- Picture Perfect: Make sure you are well-lit from the front and prop up your screen to keep the camera directly at eye level. This will help you look and stay engaged. Additional pro tip: no matter how presentable you look, consider the hide self view option. This is one of the biggest contributors to Zoom fatigue. In a normal meeting setting, you’d never be staring at yourself.
- Listen In: Invest in good headphones to tune in better and curtail ambient noise.
- X Out: Minimize potential distractions on your browser like your email inbox or social media feed to prevent interference and interruption, which can further exhaust your brain.
- Stay Present: Resist the temptation to multitask while taking video calls. Slow down and realize other responsibilities can wait. Focus your attention on just the call. Research shows attempting to do multiple tasks at once impacts performance.
- Break Away: Schedule protected time on your calendar to get away from the screen. Take advantage of breaks to recharge your internal batteries. Meditate, stretch, move your body out of that home office chair!
- And…Get Outside: Fresh air and movement contribute to better physical and mental health. Take a walk between meetings. The physical activity will put you in better shape to deal with whatever comes your way in the virtual workspace.
- Go Offline: Unplug! Maintain a clear separation between your work and home life. Completely shut down when the workday is over. A fake commute, like a bike ride around your neighborhood, can help with this.