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Managing Remote Teams' Mental Health: Reducing Virtual Meeting Overload

Pre-COVID, two in five American employees thought there were more meetings than necessary. Now we’re having even more meetings and back-to-back video calls have replaced our daily in-person interactions. This is all on top of extra home responsibilities and increased stress.

These extra video calls are leading to meeting fatigue and it’s draining employees’ energy. Video calls are important and have their place, but they also force us to focus more on conversations in order to absorb information. This video offers managers tips for helping their employees fight video meeting fatigue.

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Video Transcription: Managing Remote Teams' Mental Health | Reducing Virtual Meeting Overload

[Narrator] Are you dreading another video work meeting? Do you wish you could just call in to a meeting like the good old days? Are you tired at the end of the day from attending multiple video calls?
Well, you might be experiencing video conferencing fatigue. Yes, it’s a thing. A real thing.

These days, we’ve not only been video conferencing for work, but also for maintaining connections with family and friends. That’s a lot of video chatting!

Employee: I just got off my 3rd video meeting today. The thing that gets me about these video calls is maintaining constant eye contact. And you need to overly express yourself so the person can see your reactions. If you look away, it looks like you aren’t paying attention. It's exhausting to pay that close attention on video calls multiple times a day!

[Narrator] Meeting overload was around even before the coronavirus pandemic. Over one-quarter (26%) of professionals think meetings are unproductive or unnecessary, with nearly half (48%) of managers saying there are more meetings than required in a week.

So what can managers do to help their teams ease the pain of video conferencing fatigue?

[Manager] I know most of you have been participating in many video meetings these days. I wanted to talk to you about some tips I have for managing video conferencing fatigue.

  • Avoid multitasking and stay present. It’s easy to get distracted by instant messaging or emails but staying present will limit the amount of energy used during the calls. Multitasking can cost you as much as 40 percent of your productive time!
  • Take breaks! On long calls, while you are listening, turn off your camera at times to give your eyes a break from trying to read everyone’s facial expressions.
  • Take the meeting on a walk using your phone instead! Walking meetings are known to improve creativity, and probably reduce stress!

[Narrator] Do what you can to support video breaks to help reduce video conferencing fatigue. Encourage your employees to make the best decision for their mental health!


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