Have you ever felt tired after a long day of consecutive calls? Back-to-back video conferencing can lead to a lot of stress and exhaustion. According to researchers and experts in the communication fields, video calls are tiring because of an increased self-awareness from self-streaming and wanting to put on a good image.
In video calls you can be very focused on yourself and your appearance, forcing you to concentrate and pick non-verbal cues from others that are usually more apparent in face-to-face settings. Additionally, having to gaze at the screen for a long time increases exhaustion, and multi-person screens magnify this problem. Video call participants will stare much more at the person talking than in a face-to-face conversation, as looking somewhere else may give the impression of disinterest. Prolonged eye contact through the screen also causes the brain to overreact.
In order to avoid video call fatigue, you will need to schedule your calls appropriately and factor in breaks in between calls. Avoid having a full day of video conferencing. Another good practice is to turn on your video only for essential meetings; not all calls require video, so it’s important to know when to switch to a phone call or email when appropriate, and don’t feel pressured to always have your camera on.
Also video conferencing does not need to last an hour or more. They are usually set up to last an hour because that’s how long physical meetings used to last: people used to have to commute from one place to another to attend the meeting and had to make it worthwhile for the time travelled. Today, there is no reason why a video call should not be 15 minutes long.
Effective Video Calls
In our post-COVID-19 world, video call is king. But what makes a call good?
The guest list: who is invited is important. Only invite participants who absolutely need to be there to take decisions or those needed for the Q&A session.
Follow the agenda: it may seem obvious but include an agenda. Be sure to share any relevant documents, videos, or images before the call so people know exactly what the call is about and how long each agenda point will take. It’s also a good idea to assign a mediator to ensure the call follows the agenda and that conversations off-topic are held back.
Watch the clock: it often helps to have a separate attendee making sure that the allotted time for each agenda point is followed. If the meeting goes overtime, then the outstanding agenda points can be rearranged.
Take the minutes: it is crucial to have someone take notes and redact a written summary of the call to be documented and shared with everyone that could or couldn’t attend the call. Action points will need to be followed up, so a good record of the minutes is a must.
About the Author
Anastasia has nearly 10 years of experience in recruiting top talent from the EMEA region across different sectors. She specializes in supporting growing companies as they expand their businesses across borders and into new markets. Currently based out of Madrid, she oversees international talent acquisition for GTS. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.