Video meetings can be exhausting. When you are on a video call, you are usually faced with multiple distractions. Whether that is the ping of new emails, disruptive pets, or worrying about how your room looks to the people on the call–this is the reality of our modern business world.
While video fatigue is real, there are some ways you can reduce the exhaustion of seemingly endless video meetings. First and foremost, that is to understand that most people would rather meet in person.
Lose the Brady Bunch screens. The default view of video meetings, a gallery view showing meeting attendees, can be overwhelming. When you see everyone in their window, your eyes are naturally drawn to them, and the movement is mentally distracting. Try switching to speaker view. This allows your attention to be on the one person who is speaking—the only person you should be paying attention to at that moment.
Get rid of the video mirror. How many times do you look at yourself in video meetings? Probably more often than you would like to admit. You want to make sure your hair looks good, and you want to see how you look on screen. However, by checking out your appearance, you are not giving your full attention to the meeting. Turn off the self-view to focus on the rest of your team.
Forget about side conversations. The chat function in virtual meetings creates the side conversations around a conference table in an in-person meeting. They can be super distracting, so limit the back-and-forth banter. Leave some time at the start of virtual meetings for people to chit-chat and catch up, but once the meeting is underway, it is best to focus on the topic at hand.
Do not go over the top on creating a new background. It is true–you want to appear professional on your virtual calls. However, you can make your workspace perform without investing in a virtual background. A bare wall or even a solid-colored sheet will work as an excellent alternative for your background.
Protect your working hours. Working remotely comes with many perks, but it also makes it easy to work much longer hours. When you no longer have a commute, and you can log on as soon as you get out of bed, you may be tempted to put in more work. This is not healthy. Make sure everyone on your team knows they do not need to be available 24/7. It is okay to decline some video meetings, especially if you have stepped away for the day to spend time with your family.
In an age of constant change, virtual meetings allow you to safely connect and communicate with your team and clients. Just be aware of how these meetings can drain your energy. When you take steps to eliminate distractions and establish boundaries, you will find yourself, and your team is much more productive after each call. Embrace this–and thrive.
Use the tips on our blog about successful meetings to make the most out of your time!