1st September, 2020
I miss meetings. I never thought I’d say those words. But I had taken them for granted and perhaps endured one too many bad ones.
COVID-19 has driven us behind a screen to connect with our colleagues and family. I understand this has helped thousands of businesses stay in the game, despite the lock downs and quarantines.
I love that it has helped me connect with my relatives and long lost friends, to share a laugh and smile. It has saved me time and money on travel. But I have had enough of freezing screens, weird echoes and uncomfortable silences.
I don’t think I’m alone. My friends and colleagues are tired as well. Ironically, given you are sitting at your desk, these video meetings are more tiring than we think. A psychologist at Wheaton College in Illinois has shown that we are having to focus much harder because we can’t rely on body language. The social cues that are easily read in real life are more tiring to read virtually.
So (until we meet again), I have done a bit of research to see how we can manage this fatigue.
1. Limit video calls to those that are necessary and build in time between calls to refresh your mind.
2. Block thinking or working time on your calendar. Keep a few hours a day to avoid getting overloaded.
3. Turn off your camera when you are not speaking. It is surprisingly tiring looking at yourself!
4. Maintain a subtle and professional background that does not distract the audience or yourself.
These four tips have given me a real boost to keep communicating, keep meeting virtually and keeping safe.
But I have got to say that I am ready now for the real thing.
By: Wanjeri Mahiti - Director, Sales & Marketing.