Combatting Zoom Fatigue During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Isabelle Fama

It’s hard to believe that the U.S. has just reached its one-year Zoom-iversary. That is to say, it’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the world into isolation and sent school and work functions online. While staying connected through the digital sphere has been helpful, it has had harmful side effects for many in the form of “Zoom fatigue.” According to the Harvard Business Review, video calls have become increasingly draining due to the intense attention and awareness that they require.

If you are feeling the effects of Zoom fatigue, don’t despair. These tips can help you refocus and re-energize in the face of your upcoming online work.

  1. Keep your workspace organized.

Keeping your workspace clear can also keep your mind clear. After spending weeks in the same place, it’s natural to have built up some clutter. This can cloud your thoughts and block your productivity. Clear your mind by clearing your workspace. Incorporate items that assist your workflow (such as to-do lists and water) and get rid of items that contribute to clutter (such as excess papers and trash). Having a comfortable environment that promotes productivity is crucial to combatting Zoom fatigue. 

  1. Plan your breaks.

Planning your breaks is just as important as planning your tasks. Pushing through hours of work is not always realistic, and you can actually get more done if you take time to reset in between projects. When looking at your to-do list, pay attention to points where you can slow down and relax. Whether your breaks come in the form of naps, Netflix, or long walks outside, they can help fight Zoom fatigue and allow you to do your best work.

  1. Stay connected.

 At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Your classmates, colleagues, family, and friends are all navigating the new normal at the same time as you. Recognizing this can be comforting. Staying connected with the important people in your life (even if it is from afar) can provide support and encouragement that can help you power through Zoom fatigue.

As the COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out and the end of the pandemic begins to come into view, it is easy to grow weary of the digital work life that many of us have built. Staying organized, taking regular breaks, and remaining connected with your friends and family can help you face Zoom fatigue with clarity and confidence.