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Zoom Fatigue - Fact or Fiction


This week marked a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And within days of the announcement, we were all thrust into a new way of working. All but essential workers were ordered to stay home. Collectively, we had to figure out how to stay connected.


Enter zoom. At Butler Street, we were using it already for team meetings and continuous improvement sessions. It’s a great tool and we immediately prioritized using it as effectively as possible. We found several ways to increase connectedness with our prospects, our clients, each other and (most importantly for our business) delivering impactful, interactive and engaging training.


We also developed specific training on how to effectively utilize video platforms in selling and leadership to help our customers acquire, retain, and grow their clients.


However, most people spent the last year getting used to embracing video as a form of communication. Moving from never having video meetings to…. never-ending video meetings.


Enter zoom fatigue. It’s a thing, but it doesn’t have to be. And we certainly don’t want it to become a “socially acceptable excuse” that prevents growth.


Here are 4 ways you can prevent zoom fatigue from setting in:


1. Turn off your self-view

I have a mirror in my office, but I don’t stare at it all day and I never made a live sales call while looking in the mirror. And yet, that is what is happening on video calls - we are looking at ourselves.


Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), examined the psychological consequences of spending hours per day on video platforms. He cites how critical we are of our own reflection.

“It’s taxing on us. It’s stressful. And there’s lots of research showing that there are negative emotional consequences to seeing yourself in a mirror.”

Take a look at the examples below. Imagine I am having a client meeting with my colleague, Joel.


I can look at the two of us side by side,









I can focus on Joel and have a small image of myself,









or, I can turn my self-view off.








Tip to help:

  • Check yourself in the preview to ensure your lighting and backgrounds are good and then, turn all your attention to your prospect or client by turning your self-view off.

2. Move

If you are tied to your computer all day, it is unhealthy and will definitely cause fatigue. Just because you have camera doesn’t mean it always needs to be used.


Tips to help:

  • If you are the host of the meeting, determine when you can do “walk and talks” instead of video calls.

  • Strategically think about the purpose of the call, what needs to be accomplished and your role in the call. Some meetings are just better voice to voice.

  • If video is the right choice, and often it is, invest in a webcam and set your space up so you can stand, move and stretch a bit. Stand up desks are amazing and do wonders to prevent fatigue!

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