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Video conferencing is the next best thing to in person meetings. Follow these tips to avoid Zoom fatigue and make the most of video meeting time.

When you can’t connect face-to-face, video conferencing on Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams is the next best option. But too much of a good thing can lead to video chat fatigue.

What causes this weariness? At an in-person meeting, you’re not as self-conscious. You can’t see how you look, what your background is like and if the lighting is OK. You’re not worried that your child, pet or spouse might disrupt the meeting.

“Let’s be honest—we’re all burned out,” says Heidi Lynne Kurter, a workplace culture consultant and leadership coach. Here are best practices for surviving video chats. 

1. Take breaks.

“First and foremost, you have to set time aside for many breaks,” Kurter says. “Setting calendar reminders or buffer periods helps.” Kurter gives herself a buffer of 15 to 20 minutes between calls to take a quick walk around her block to refresh.

2. Opt out.

It’s also OK to say no. When you’re not up for it, tell your colleagues, “I’d prefer to just join via audio.”

3. Set boundaries.

Team leaders should create video conferencing boundaries, says Erica Volini, human capital leader at Deloitte. She suggests creating a policy on the percentage of hours in a given day that should be held on video. “I think we’ll start to see new policies come in that give people the freedom to make the decisions that they need to make,” she says.

Image by Juanmonino