Wellness Wednesday tips: Zoom and overall life fatigue is real

August 5, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

As there have been many changes to day-to-day life since March, fatigue and burnout are a real issue that is affecting many of our colleagues.

Most meetings are now being held virtually. This means that the nonverbal communication we once relied on is no longer present.

For example, have you tried making eye contact with someone on video? Either people are looking at themselves on screen, looking at others, typing, tending to others in their home or trying to avoid looking directly into their camera.

Unlike being in-person, when the video is on, people feel like they are being “watched.” This may cause someone to consistently check their appearance or feel embarrassed if a pet or child comes into frame.

If the internet is slow or lags for a second, especially if you are talking, a cloud of anxiety or fear can come over you. For those using closed captioning, sometimes the speed of the text is slow or jumbled and you may miss something important. All of these factors can be draining.

In addition to using video conferencing for work, people are Zooming for classwork and with friends and family to remain connected. This can be exhausting and emotionally taxing.

As many continue to work remotely, there are ways to help relieve fatigue. If you are unable to work remotely and still have virtual meetings, try to find moments between meetings to pause and disconnect.

Tips to help relieve fatigue

Try a phone call instead of video conference: To avoid the feeling of “being on,” try making a meeting a phone/conference call. For parents and others caring for loved ones, a phone call can be most the convenient option if there are no visuals being shared or presentation.

Schedule fewer meetings: There are several departments that are limiting August meetings in order to give their teams a break and more time for productivity. Try replacing a meeting with a detailed email instead. This can also be helpful for our colleagues with disabilities who are unable to consistently video conference.

For past tips, please visit the Wellness Wednesday Archive.

If you have a tip, let us know by emailing headlines@med.umich.edu

Thank you for all that you do — and for protecting your health and the health of everyone around you at Michigan Medicine.