Since UK residents were forced into lockdown on 23rd March 2020, most of us have transitioned to working from home reasonably well.

A short commute from the bedroom to the kitchen has taken the place of an hour on the train. Wrangling kids and other members of the household has become commonplace. And so has endless hours of video calls. This way of working is now the “new normal”.

However, as our working patterns and behaviour change and the ailments of the commute and office disappear, we find ourselves with new problems to contend with.

And one of the most common is “Zoom fatigue”.

Zoom fatigue is the exhaustion you feel from endless online video meetings, one after the other. A combination of needing to pay attention (or at least looking like you are paying attention), keeping constant focus on a screen and forgoing breaks, leaves you feeling drained after only a few hours.

In the hustle and bustle of an office, screen breaks are common, as the simple act of chatting to colleagues, having meetings and making coffee means stretching your legs numerous times a day. But sitting at the kitchen table with no office distractions, it’s possible to stare at Zoom in some small way, for hours on end.

Despite working from home, which seems like a less tiring place to be, so many people have suffered from the effects of Zoom fatigue. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some steps you can take to reduce or get rid of fatigue altogether.

Here are five ways to reduce Zoom fatigue:

Cut the video
Seriously, since when did we actually need to see each others’ faces all the time on calls? Sure, for some meetings, it makes sense to see each other face-to-face, but for most meetings – particularly one-to-one – revert to using that thin slip of metal you carry around all day – a phone. Really, voice calls seem refreshing when you’ve been Zooming for the last 14 weeks.

Up the H2O
Increasing your water intake helps fight fatigue, generally, but is particularly helpful when it comes to Zoom fatigue. Why? When your body is poorly hydrated, it can result in you feeling slow and sluggish. If you drink a lot of coffee or tea during the day, it can cause further dehydration, so you need to drink a suitable amount of water to maintain a good level of hydration. Another benefit of drinking a lot of water is you’re forced to tear yourself away from your screen regularly to go to the toilet.

Schedule breaks
Set an alarm or use a calendar pop-up on your laptop or computer to give you a nudge to get up and walk about away from your screen. It only needs to be a few minutes every hour, so your eyes can get a rest. This will also help your productivity and focus.

Top up your O2
Used by high-performance athletes to maintain focus during game time, supplemental oxygen is becoming more frequently used by those working in offices, on shifts or anywhere where they are likely to experience a level of fatigue. Supplemental oxygen, like ClearO2’s canisters, deliver a burst of oxygen to the bloodstream that gives you energy.

Move your body
As many people have come to realise, not moving doesn’t make you less tired – it can be exhausting! Movement requires energy but energy also requires movement. How often have you gone for a walk, run, or to the gym and – instead of feeling tired and sleepy – found yourself with bags of energy afterwards? Scheduling times to exercise and move – even if it’s only for a few minutes – can pay dividends in boosting your energy and reducing fatigue.

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