“I’m so exhausted at the end of a day of video conferencing meetings I can barely drag myself to dinner,” lamented one of my teammates in our morning huddle. Another piped up, “I’m starting to get raging headaches by mid-afternoon every day, they’re about to make me go insane.” And another lamented, “I feel like I’m screaming all day long and it leaves me feeling completely drained.” Sound familiar? We thought so too.
We wondered whether what we were experiencing by being in video conferences all day was common. Turns out it is. Articles such as the one on zoom fatigue in The National Geographic explain why video calls wear on the psyche in complicated ways are all over the internet. We learned from these articles that it’s important to take breaks, turn off the camera if you’re feeling over stimulated, and turn to other communication vehicles such as the phone or email.
4 Suggestions to Make Video Conferencing More Comfortable
When that’s not possible, and you’re scheduled to be in video conferencing all day most days, make sure you have the right equipment and use it in the correct way. Here are four suggestions we hope will help you keep your sanity when video conferencing.
- Lighting and computer glasses, such as blue light blocking glasses, to keep eyes from getting strained. One of our colleagues recommends blue light blocking glasses. She said they really make a big difference. Good lighting helps you stay connected and enable you and the people on the call to engage more comfortably.
- One-sided headsets (as opposed to a two-sided version) to keep headaches at bay and manage sound quality. A one-sided headset prevents one’s voice from resonating inside one’s head. This headset should have a noise cancelling microphone that mutes all sounds around the speaker (children playing, dogs barking, phones ringing) so you don’t have to work so hard for people to hear you clearly.
- Consider investing in a standing desk. Alternate between standing and sitting every hour.
- Turn down the volume. When the volume is up you tend to speak more loudly. Take down the volume to help keep you from yelling and save your voice.
These tools and tips can keep video conferencing from being a headache both figuratively and literally. Our team here has had a fair share of experience with how taxing video conferencing all day can be. We’ve helped each other find the tools we need to make it work. Hope this makes for better video conferencing meetings.