- Video conference fatigue is real…and we have it. We are just tired of it. Day in and day out, the conference calls with and without a video component. Just blurbs on a screen making noise. Staring into a bright screen for hours every day and trying to pay attention. At some point, your home office or wherever you choose to operate from just loses its desire and the whole process becomes a chore.
- It is impersonal as hell. Some may think that video calls are personal, that you are able to make a connection etc. Relative to what? Relative to shaking a hand, sharing a meal, being at the same table to discuss the matter at hand? Compared to these things, a video call is a far fry from personal. After 13 months of it, something needs to change.
- We are losing relationships. One would think that without travel and commuting, spare time would increase. However, it seems the exact opposite has occurred. Our days are booked, we are always expected to be accessible and we are often neglecting relationships that are not part of our daily calendars. We are losing critical relationships because they are not part of our itinerary.
- It’s no longer healthy, physically. Sitting at a desk, staring at a screen from sun up to sun down is flat out bad for you. While the lack of sleep and the exposure to risk and disease that correlates to travel and commuting may not be great, 13 months of a sedentary lifestyle for some people is also not OK. We still make a point to exercise daily but, we are still on our ass for excess of 8 hours at a time. Combine that with the eye fatigue and the potential disruption to our body’s internal rhythms caused by all the artificial light and, you have a problem.
- We need face to face interaction to connect. Whether you are managing a team, trying to sell to customers or any other aspect of your job/personal life, a phone call or a video call is not a substitute for in person interaction. Attention spans are short. People are able to build up animosities more when you cannot look each other in the eye. Life simply becomes more transactional. Human beings are more connected today but at the same time, less connected. Making a business deal over dinner. Laying off a long-time employee in person. Interviewing someone face to face. Virtually executing these activities is not a valid substitution.
So, in today’s world what is the solution to all of these problems? Short of getting back to normal and doing things face to face, we feel the solution is just limiting the virtual communication. Group calls are basically the number 1 problem. So, limiting conference calls is a big help. Also, not blocking your entire calendar off with calls. Instead, block chunks out for yourself. To get outside, take a walk, lift weights…whatever you need to do. If you manage, your team should follow this as well. Lastly, consider just more personal calls. Reach out to those that are not part of your daily routine just to say hello and check in. Make life a bit more “normal” until we can all shake hands, share a meal and remember that we are more than a name on a screen.