Zooming through Zoom Fatigue: Tips to Help Your Team Stay Engaged
Working from home takes a certain kind of self-discipline. Some people can’t be productive when their couch is always nearby. Or their dishes need to be cleaned. Or it’s a pretty day out, and your patio is screaming your name. I’ve been telling people this for years. Now I silently laugh in my head when my friends and family—who used to tell me what a luxury it was to work from home— complain about how challenging it is to balance work with wanting to clean their house or sit out on their patio.
While I agree, it’s still nice to walk downstairs and immediately start working… After I pour myself a cup of coffee… Or two… But it’s also challenging to stay alert, especially when your to-do list involves back-to-back calls. Zoom fatigue comes in and it can be hard to focus.
Some of your team may be back in the office, while others may be permanently stationed at home. Despite the work situation, chances are it might be awhile before in-person demos are possible for prospects.
Here are 5 tips to help your team through Zoom fatigue:
Ugh, I know. I don’t always like to look “presentable” while working from home either. But a video call simply creates more interaction than an audio-only call. Seeing everyone’s faces reduces the chances that your team will focus on something else during the call. So, it helps them stay engaged.
Lead by Example
Does your team seem reluctant to use video? Lead by example. If you don’t want to make every call a video call, then find a best practice for you. Maybe you have a team meeting every Monday. Set that one as a video call.
Bonus tip: Denote that it’s a video call in your meeting request. Then your team members who opt to wear pajamas all day won’t be caught off-guard. 😊
Have Agendas for Meetings
Whether it’s in-person or virtual, no one likes to waste time. Only have a meeting when you need to, and create an agenda to help you stay on track. In a virtual landscape, we sometimes get lax on best practices. But it’s still best to create a scope for the meeting. Make sure everyone is prepared, then create (and record) next steps.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Their Purposes
Here’s one of the biggest and easiest mistakes a manager can make: not relaying to team members what their roles are in your company or project. It can be challenging to understand how you fit in, even in an office—let alone working remotely (especially if you’ve never done it before).Keep team members engaged by helping them understand how they fit into the team.
Share Some Lighter Moments
It’s a misconception that working remotely means you can’t still engage with your team members. For years, I‘ve worked remotely with an international team, some of whom I’ve never met. I still know how old my colleagues’ kids are, who’s an expert with plants, and where people land on the ongoing coffee vs tea debate.
When you work at a brick-and-mortar business, these conversations usually occur when you run out for coffee or lunch. So a lot of team members are missing this type of engagement.
Break up the mundane tasks and Zoom fatigue and have a little fun. Start having an open-call coffee break for your team. If they want to come, they can. But don’t force them to. Then you can jump on a call and have a cup of coffee (or tea) with your team. Even a quick 15-minute call to catch up can go a long way for your team’s mental health and improve camaraderie.
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