Meeting fatigue is a common issue in this Virtual First world we work in. There are loads of reasons that video meetings feel taxing. What stood out to me is the actual effect that back-to-back video meetings has on your brain. Some recent research done by Zoom and Microsoft brought to light that back-to- back video meetings has a negative effect on the brain. After about 60 minutes of constant video chatting, the brain starts to react as if it’s under stress.
According to the research, taking 10 minute breaks between Zoom meetings has the very positive result of keeping your brain out of the stress zone. We’ve known breaks are good, but it’s not always easy to take them. My plan is simple — create a meeting culture that prioritizes breaks.
Start meetings late.
When we end meetings early it’s easy to run over time. However people rarely show up early if you start them late.
Meetings should be short.
If you have 30 minutes, you’ll take 30 minutes. By constraining the duration of the meeting, you can improve the focus. You can have more productive meetings, enforce agendas, and demand decisions.
If you create a meeting using the principles above, the result should be:
- 20 minute meetings start at :10 or :40 after.
- 40 minute meetings start at :20 after.
- No 30 or 60 minute meetings.
Meeting fatigue is a real issue in today's virtual work environment. Back-to-back video meetings have been found to have a negative effect on the brain, causing stress and burnout. However, by taking 10-minute breaks between meetings, we can keep our brains out of the stress zone and increase productivity.
To create a meeting culture that prioritizes breaks, start meetings late and keep them short.. By doing so, you can focus on the quality of the meeting and more easily enforce agendas and decisions. We can have more productive and efficient meetings while reducing meeting fatigue and improving our overall work performance.