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How To Avoid Virtual Burnout – Balance Is Key

How to avoid virtual burnout – balance is key

The working world, as we know it has changed and the rules of engagement are no different. Whether you and your team meet on Zoom, Skype, Teams, Google Meet-Up or any other virtual platform, there’s no denying that spending countless hours in virtual meetings has its own set of drawbacks.

What are some of the drawbacks and why are people experiencing ‘Zoom fatigue’?

According to, there are five key reasons as to why this may be impacting on people’s enthusiasm levels when receiving the umpteenth meeting request.

  • It’s like looking at yourself in a mirror – except, others see what you’re seeing and this can pose a weird dichotomy in terms of self-awareness, coupled with the distraction of having to focus on the speaker or when it’s your turn to present an idea or provide feedback. It can be disconcerting and cause us to become hyper-aware of our appearance and body language which may lead to increased stress.
  • We miss out on non-verbal cues – the ability to read body language effectively is a great skill in a professional environment. It feeds our EQ and can determine how effectively we communicate with our colleagues. Being virtual makes it far more challenging to read co-workers’ emotional weather or how you’re being perceived.
  • A little too close for comfort – working from home also makes us very aware of our environment and concerns about children interrupting meetings, or the worry that our homes appear less appealing to our co-workers can actually impede one’s efficacy when needing to use the time as efficiently as possible.
  • No time for small talk – the power of ‘water cooler talk’ with co-workers cannot be underestimated. This seeming mundane, daily occurrence often helps to build trust and breaks down the barriers which in turn helps to build relationships and improve communication, as well as understanding for your colleagues.
  • The poker face is intimidating – this can seriously throw you off your game and is especially troublesome when presenting important ideas to strategic forums. It’s daunting to see a group of stone-faced colleagues staring back at you. Their silence may just be them taking time to understand and digest the information, but sometimes silence can be deafening.

The key to avoiding ‘Zoom fatigue’ is to keep it simple, here’s how:

  • Encourage your team to build in regular breaks. Take time away from the screen and from the meeting. You will find a renewed energy in the ‘room’ which can positively impact on the outcome.
  • Be present – avoid multitasking at all costs, not only is it counter-productive for others, but it can detract your focus and keep you in the dark about important context that can get lost if you’re distracted with other things.
  • Switch to a call or email – generally, picking up the phone and having a conversation is far more efficient and eliminates having to meet about everything. This too can be said for email. Give your team a break from endless video time and change it up whenever possible.

If there is something that the team at Summit know to be true, it’s that interpersonal relationships with coworkers and clients are key to successful projects and ideation. It’s our privilege to help organisations get to the root of what makes their people tick and we do so using world-class training methods.

If you’d like to schedule a call, or virtual meeting (we promise to keep it short and sharp) then please get in contact with us.