How Leaders Can Help Combat Virtual Meeting Fatigue

Last year, the world of work flipped on its head almost overnight as meetings turned digital and “Zoom fatigue” became real. 

Recent studies are now showing that the number of meetings a person on average attends per day has increased since the workplace went remote in 2020, while the average length of those meetings has actually decreased.

Therefore, people are spending less time in meetings each day but feeling a greater level of mental fatigue. Why is that? 

Everyone will have their own answers but some universal responses say:

  • There’s a lack of social cues making it harder to read other people;
  • There’s a greater pressure to always be switched on as it feels like more eyes are on you at once; and 
  • People aren’t used to attentively listening at a computer for so long, for example.  

An effective solution doesn’t take a one size fits all approach. Instead, for more effective and less fatiguing virtual meetings, it requires a tailored response from individual leaders.

By asking employees for their feedback and preferences on the team meetings, you can make it a more pleasant experience for everyone, which may also spark more engagement and conversation.

This is a process that doesn’t have to be difficult. You could simply send out some surveys asking for feedback on the recent meetings or it might take place in an open group discussion. 

Some helpful questions you might consider asking are the following: 

  • How helpful are our team meetings?
  • What is working well and not so well? What should we do differently?
  • To optimize your workflow, should our meetings be scheduled in the morning, midday, or afternoon?
  • How long should our meetings be?
  • How often should we meet?
  • Would you benefit from days or time blocks with no meetings?
  • If you were to lead the meeting, what would you do differently?

These pieces of feedback will give you something to think about and show a way to improve the meetings for everyone.