Zoom Fatigue Is Real
It’s only natural that after what feels like a thousand years of remote work and countless Zoom meetings (at least a few of which could have been an email), you might be getting just a little tired of video conferencing.
There are plenty of ways to help keep things fresh. Watson Adventures’ virtual games and scavenger hunts use Zoom to connect friends, co-workers, and remote teams around the country, and even around the world. And you can check out our suggestions for summer get-togethers on and off Zoom. But even a routine company meeting can feel a lot fresher and more lively with some of these tips for fighting Zoom fatigue.
Share a Meal
Instead of everyone simply staring at screens, consider convening a lunch meeting. Co-workers can supply their own food, or we’ve seen clients order food to be delivered to the various employees joining the meeting. Just don’t eat anything too messy—you wouldn’t want to dirty up your one nice Zoom shirt.
Dress to Impress?
Speaking of which, have fun with a dress code. If your remote team tends toward casual wear, encourage a meeting where everyone dresses like they were actually going into a real-life office. Or plan a fun dress-code theme, like “out of this world” or “luau,” and see how everyone interprets it. Everyone can vote on the best look, too, if you want to make it a contest.
Handy Tip: Switch Off the Selfie
Here’s another good tip for making Zoom less awkward. If you’re in Gallery mode, you can right-click your video to display the menu and choose “Hide Self View.” That removes the view of yourself from your screen. You won’t be invisible—everyone can still see you, so don’t do anything embarrassing—but you can stop self-consciously watching yourself talk in meetings.
Fun with Zoom Backgrounds
Importing images into Zoom and using them like green-screen backgrounds is all the rage. Instead of grabbing background images willy nilly, suggest a theme or hold a competition to find the funniest, coolest, or silliest Zoom background. Everyone in the meeting can vote using the polling feature in Zoom, and the winner can earn a prize (or a nice round of applause).
Fun with Real-Life Backgrounds
Instead of the Zoom background, go for the Zoom bookshelf. Arrange the area visible behind you in a fun or interesting way. Show off hobbies of yours, or your collection of racing medals, or some eye-catching tchotchkes. Encourage co-workers to keep a conversation-starter in view, like a trophy or a vacation photo, and then call on one or two people in each meeting to talk about them.
Handy Tip: No Bad Ideas
This is something to try for any brainstorming meeting, whether in Zoom or in real life. When you solicit ideas or pitches for new products or fixes to your existing business, consider inviting everyone to toss out their ideas without discussion. Rather than getting bogged down on the logistics and practicality of every single one, compile a list, winnow it down to a list of top favorites, and then circle back for discussion later, whether in person or via email. Everyone will get a lot less sick of Zoom when every call doesn’t devolve into debates over minutiae.
If your remote team holds routine meetings, invite a special guest star, like a boss or lead from another department, who wouldn’t normally make an appearance. It’s always fun to see a new face, and it gives you an opportunity to catch up with the people you might not normally check in with.
Puzzle It Out Together
Try completing a virtual jigsaw puzzle together. We recently highlighted some featuring scenes from Central Park. One person can Screen Share and others in the meeting can tell that person where to move pieces. Or everyone can work on it separately while talking to each other on Zoom. Sure, video conferencing with friends or co-workers to compete in a trash-talking jigsaw-puzzle race might have sounded weird a few months ago, but we’re living in weird times.