Fighting Video Call Fatigue: The Struggle Is Real

Remember in March 2020 when your friends invited you to a virtual happy hour and you were excited? We were showing our drinks, craft beers, cocktails and thought it was hilarious seeing kids and dogs interrupting our call. If that feels like 300 years ago, we completely understand! The novelty has worn off, and we are all wearing the equivalent of a “mullet” to our home offices every day. We are business up top (polo, sweater, dress shirt) and lazy Sunday on the bottom (sweats, shorts…. We hope).

Hang in there, although everyone has asked you to hang in there for 10 months we really mean it, just hang in there. If you feel like throwing your laptop across the room when you see another “let’s hop on a Teams call” message, we got you!

We have been doing this virtual work from home thing since our beginning, so we have a tip or two to share. We don’t have anything as easy as a Ron Popeil Showtime Oven, where you can just “Set It And Forget It”. However, there are some things you can do to help curb your fatigue of another Zoom / Teams / Ring Central meeting.

It’s OK To Not Be On Video

Let us just repeat that, it is perfectly fine to not turn your video on for every single meeting. Let’s be real, most virtual meetings mirror real life, they probably could have been handled with an email. However we are also lonely, and our furry family is great, but just not giving us the companionship we need as humans.

Having the camera off also allows you to get some real work done during your meeting. Clean your inbox, organize your desk, type that memoir you have been talking about. Just because you are not on video doesn’t mean you aren’t engaged in the conversation, we all need to accept that some days we just don’t want to be seen every minute of the day.

Get Yourself A Sweet Wireless Headset And Get Moving

Noise-canceling headsets, especially wireless ones that allow you to move around are a lifesaver. Yes, Airpods are great for everyday life, however, for business, there is nothing like a good headset. Get up and move around, do some air squats, you would be amazed at the range of wireless headsets available!

We suggest getting one that you can walk away from your computer and mute on the headset itself. This allows you to load the dishwasher, do some laundry, or even cook lunch as you are completely hands-free to do as you please! Mute yourself and feel the freedom come over you, go ahead and push the limits on what you can accomplish. When you have vacuumed the house during a meeting like our very own Mike Dolloff you have mastered this skill.

Skip A Teams Meeting Or Two And Go For A Walk

I know this seems impossible, however, ask yourself if you really need to be at this meeting? We have heard that because everyone is accessible we are increasingly asked to attend meetings that we don’t need to be a part of. Email recaps are your friend, and the funny thing is, when you ask people to send you your action items, oftentimes there are none.

You may just kill two birds with one stone with this advice. No work, and a clear mind! Getting outside is an absolute must, for your sanity and for your colleagues as well. They will like you better after clearing your mind. Do this several times a day. The reality is we are all working more being home, so 9-5 doesn’t mean what it did in Dolly Parton’s day. If you skip 15 minutes here or there, you are getting way more done than you did in the office because you no longer have to get updates on what went down on The Bachelorette.

Reach Out And Touch Someone With A Phone Call

One of our favorite lines from a simpler time, when a long-distance phone call actually meant something because it cost big money. As Zoom and Teams have become part of our everyday life for work and school, the more we forget what life was like 10 months ago. People ask us to hop on a video conference because we are used to it.

What used to be a novelty or a special occasion is now expected of us. Stop the cycle, pick up the phone and just talk. Or chat over instant messenger, both acceptable opinions. That is something everyone needs to remember is we do have options. Plus a phone call leaves so much to the imagination, like what color sweats are they wearing today?

Teams & Zoom Are Here To Stay On Our Own Terms

Life, both personally and professionally is about defining boundaries and sticking to them. Set certain days or hours that are off-limits for you. Block your calendar with podcast time and take that walk we told you about!

The point is this, we have all done our part and not wanting to be on a happy hour with your friends after being on Zoom all day is OK.