Video Call Fatigue Hits Home 

As many as 75% of our faculty and staff are working and teaching from home. And that means video calls on Zoom, BlueJeans, Google, etc. - nearly 600,000 since the middle of March. That’s a lot of time on a webcam. And, not surprisingly, it’s taking a toll.  

Many studies are finding that it is hard to maintain focus if we are constantly on screen. Articles from the Guardian,, and Psychology Today explore how video call fatigue is impacting us. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies that can help.

3 Tips to Avoid Video Call Burnout

  • Share with others how you are feeling - Whether for a work meeting or a social call, if you are feeling worn out by the video calls, let other people know. Many of us are likely going to work remotely more often now, so it’s important to be open about what will help you work your best.  

  • Work on your WFH time management - LinkedIn Learning has a Time Management series especially for working from home. Key takeaways for reducing burnout are to set boundaries for your work hours and to schedule meaningful break times. A really good tip - leave time between each meeting you have if at all possible, leaving some time to step away from your computer.

  • Keep your meetings, but skip the camera - The Psychology Today article touches on a few interesting phenomena that happens with video calls - not only are we seeing our coworkers, but we are also seeing ourselves. Staring at your own image meeting after meeting can feel uncomfortable and emotionally costly for many. So, take a break from sending video on occasion (or at the very least choose “speaker View”). Or ask your coworkers if you can connect in another way. Could an email or Google Document take the place of a meeting? How about an old-fashioned phone call to give your eyes a rest from the screen?

“Work-Life integration has a new meaning now that so many of us are working from home full time,” states Barb Mulay, manager of the U-M Work-Life Resource Center.  "Remember to consider your personal as well as work needs, and don’t forget the importance of balancing your time so you can be your best self.”

Need to talk about it?

 May is Mental Health Month. If you need support, like talking through your feelings and even learning more strategies to build resilience, we are here for you. 

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