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How To Make Your Video Conferencing More Exciting

by Olufisayo
Video Conferencing

It’s no surprise that we are fairly fed up with video calls by now. After over a year of lockdown and working from home, the novelty of a video call disappeared long ago. Once amusing technical difficulties or faces frozen in funny positions are now infuriating.

This year has given rise to ‘zoom fatigue’, a genuine condition caused by too much time spent on video conferences. Symptoms of Zoom fatigue include tiredness, loss of attention, feeling clammy or sweaty during calls, additional strain on the eyes as well as regular headaches and migraines.

One of the reasons for video calls feeling like such hard work is the dramatic switch from 3D to 2D. Used to communicating with people face-to-face, our brains are accustomed to all kinds of external duces which we are no longer able to receive when faced with a video call. Thus, our brain is having to work overtime to process this strange environment.

So after over a year of video conferencing, how can you mix things up to make them more exciting?

A Quick Call is a Good Call

Before arranging a call, ask yourself “how necessary is this call?” Sometimes, a clearly worded email can save a huge amount of time, not to mention save the exhaustion of yet another video call.

       

If a call is strictly necessary, make sure it is concise and to the point. There is nothing worse than a video call that drags on forever. Not only is it inefficient, but it also leaves people tired and irritable. Short calls can ensure that people are focused during the call and can give their best input.

A way to help with this is to provide an agenda before the video meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page about what is to be discussed.

Where Are You Calling From?

We have spent a year staring into our colleagues’ lounges or worse their bedrooms, shared flats, or at-home-creche. We’ve seen laundry hanging in the background or spouses frustrated at their own video calls.

Why not mix it up and opt for a different background? This kind of escapism can make a huge difference. Whether you choose a novelty background such as a sunset at the beach, or something more professional such as an “office”, these can add a new dimension to your video call.

It also can increase focus as it eliminates the distractions of your real-life background.

       

Video Calls Can Be Fun Too

It is true that video calls can become monotonous especially on days of back-to-back meetings. Subsequently, it is easy for video calls to quickly have a negative connotation. Why not mix things up and plan a strictly social call in lieu of post-work drinks or team-building?

Some companies talk about lunchtime meetings being a lot more fun and feel like you are sharing a meal together.

By using video conferencing technology for something other than work, you will give them a fresh, new association and may mean that people look more fondly on this type of technology.

Camera-Free Calls

Part of the fatigue of video calls comes from having to look at people and assess their expressions and non-verbal body language, with very little to go on. Additionally, many have reported feeling very performative during video calls. Not only the vulnerability of having to call from their personal space but the feeling of being watched more acutely than they would be in a naturalistic scenario.

Save the headaches and turn the screens off. This shows an element of trust as it demonstrates that you trust your colleague to be working and professional without having to visually check in on them. It also takes away the performative elements meaning that hopefully people are left less drained afterwards.

       

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

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