Zoom and other videoconferencing methods have become the technological platform used by many organizations in health care to maintain clinical operations. Despite videoconferencing’s many benefits, users are complaining of headaches, ocular pain, fatigue, and more. Those in leadership positions struggle to find balance between connecting with others and transitioning meetings to Zoom in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. This phenomenon has become known as “Zoom fatigue” and has led to increasing amounts of stress during the pandemic.1
Practitioners also may feel increased stress because of the minimal time and training they had before making the switch to videoconferencing. Being on camera and maintaining “Zoom etiquette” can be challenging and impersonal, especially among people who have not previously communicated with each other. The fear of failing technology or operating the equipment incorrectly can produce anxiety, another aspect of Zoom fatigue that can be mentally exhausting. Steps to take to decrease fatigue from being on a computer all day include the following:
• Avoid multitasking and be fully present during meetings.
• Put a “Do not disturb” note on your door. This will prevent sensory overload and maximize your ability to focus.
• Make small adjustments to how you are seated or standing to keep your blood circulating. Sitting in the same location for extended periods may lead to increased fatigue.
• Schedule meetings at least 30 minutes apart. This small gesture can not only minimize headaches and ocular pain, but also will increase your attention span during each meeting.
Taking care of yourself is as important as your productivity during the pandemic. It is your responsibility to put you first and maximize your coping in order to endure this new normal.
1. Maheu, M. Zoom fatigue: What you can do about it. Telebehavioral Health Institute. August 29, 2020. Accessed September, 2020. https://telehealth.org/blog/zoom-fatigue-what-it-is-what-you-can-do/