Do you remember the good old days when we called people on the mobile, and paced around while we were having a conversation?

Life is now for a lot of us working at home, often in back to back meetings. The Zoom boom has taken over, and that makes for a different type of tired. Teams / Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and given how little we move, there’s no surprise

We’ve put together our own guide to help you with some practical things to do in this world of virtual meetings

  1. Why make meetings for an hour? Shorten them to 45 minutes, so that people have time to get a drink, a loo break, check their phones or just clear their head from one meeting to the next.
  2. Start a meeting by giving a clear indication of the time you want it to end – focus people on the preciousness of your collective time. If you have 6 people in a meeting and you take 50 minutes rather than 60, then you’ve save a collective hour.
  3. If you are scheduling meetings in someone else’s diary build in a break for them between meetings. Make that the norm in your team.
  4. Block out time in your own diary to build some contingency in your day, where you can be proactive and get work done, and organise things that need organising rather than attend another meeting. What’s your optimum split between meetings and being proactive with work?
  5. Ask whether you really need that meeting? What purpose does it serve? Those meetings that were a great idea when Covid and first lockdown hit might have crept into your weekly routine. Are they still needed? Does the agenda need to change? Is it still relevant for everyone on the call?
  6. Use the telephone. Give yourself some rest from the screen. Focus on what someone is saying, and really listen to the words they are choosing to use. And you can look out of the window while you are doing it, you could even be outside, having a walk.
  7. Turn your phone off at key times. If you phone plays a constant tune of notifications, switch it off, especially when you are eating. Get a break from its control, and take a break. You’ll be much more productive if you do
  8. If you wear glasses, consider a pair just for the screen. I’ve done that and it’s a revelation, not only is everything so much clearer, there isn’t that nagging headache at the end of the day.
  9. Stop sitting .When I’m speaking to someone on the mobile, I pace, getting some all important steps in. At the very least I’ll stand.  We’re unlikely to walk when we are on a Teams / Zoom meeting but we could stand. Sitting has been dubbed the new smoking, with links to cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and back pain. In face James Levine, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo clinic says it’s more treacherous than parachuting, which puts it in perspective. Just if you are standing, get the angle of your laptop right, looking up people’s noses isn’t a good look for everyone else in the meeting.
  10. Have a walking challenge – just like the Back to Bassett one we organised. In this new world where we are attached to a screen for much of the day, then we need to move, and a team walking challenge can be a great way to encourage that.

And if you want your message to land well in any meeting or virtual presentation, have a look at How to Land your Message in the Virtual Room