Man fatigued during zoom call

From attending virtual work meetings and brainstorms to logging on for online baby showers and birthday parties, remote workers around the world have been using video platforms like Zoom nonstop. By April 2020, Zoom reported that it had surpassed 300 million daily meeting participants.

And with the effort that’s required to engage virtually, employees are left feeling exhausted. Here’s why: Video calls require more focus than face-to-face chats. Between trying to process non-verbal cues and worrying how you look (or if your toddler will interrupt), employees are drained.

So in the age of this “new normal,” how can you help employees feel refreshed and ready to tackle each day

Here are five tips to post across your communication channels—designed to help employees combat online fatigue and stay engaged:

Focus on the task at hand.

The brain can only focus on one thing at a time. You can reduce mental strain, as well as improve efficiency and job performance, by completing one task before moving on to the next item on your list.

Try meeting platform features—breakout rooms, chat and polls—to increase participation.

For example, breakout rooms let you separate meeting participants into groups where they can discuss an issue, solve a problem or generate ideas in a more intimate setting before returning to the main meeting. Smaller groups allow more people to contribute to the discussion.

Keep the meeting attendee list short—only those who have a role to play.

Achieving a meeting’s objectives is heavily influenced by having the right people present. Before sending the invitation, define your objectives and ask yourself: Who has the skills and knowledge to help achieve these objectives?

Make happy hours or social meetings optional.

Virtual meetings designed for socializing are an effective way to stay connected. But forced interaction can put pressure on employees who are juggling competing demands.

Use vacation or paid time off.

With the lines between home and work blurrier than ever, be sure to carve out time to unplug and relax. If you can’t travel, plan a “staycation.” Use that time to focus on your mental health, spend quality time with your family and enjoy some self-care.