Virtual communication is more important than ever, especially as remote work remains one of the main work setups in Houston. However, too much of anything can be bad, and the constant use of this form of communication can lead to exhaustion. So to make sure your virtual meetings keep your employees engaged without burning them out, consider the following tips.
1. Avoid multitasking.
Just like in-person meetings, virtual meetings require the full attention of every participant. It can be tempting to turn on only the audio and complete several tasks while the meeting is going on, but research shows that multitasking actually cuts into efficiency and performance. Because our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, working on multiple tasks at once just makes it more difficult to concentrate, stay organized, and pay attention to detail.
That’s why people should refrain from checking their emails, working on another project, or performing other tasks while in a meeting. They are likely to miss out on key information because they aren’t focusing on the conversation. Not only that, but multitasking sends a message that they aren’t taking the meeting seriously and don't value the time of the other participants in the call.
2. Schedule breaks.
It seems like a good idea to schedule back-to-back meetings now that rounding up the team can be done with just the click of a button — but it’s not. That quick breather your employees usually get between in-person meetings actually provides a much needed mental reset. Scheduling short breaks between video calls allows them to rest their brains and their eyes, so they can refocus and get ready for the next discussion.
3. Reduce on-screen stimuli.
People tend to fixate on themselves during video calls. It can be because they want to make sure they’re looking their best or showing the appropriate facial expressions and body language. At the same time, they also focus on other participants. They might want to check other people’s reactions to a particular idea, or maybe just get a glimpse of individual home offices. In any case, this means people are continuously processing a number of visual cues, which can strain the brain and keep them from focusing on the actual purpose of the meeting.
To keep your virtual meeting focused, as well as to combat mental fatigue, encourage participants to use simple backgrounds or agree to have videos off unless they are speaking or presenting.
Further reading: Keep your virtual meetings engaging with these tips
4. Make virtual social events optional.
Virtual social events are a great way to build relationships and familiarity with your remote teams. But after a long day of back-to-back video calls and working in front of a computer screen, some employees might feel too exhausted to socialize. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep virtual social events opt-in, especially if these are to be held after work hours.
5. Communicate via email or audio messages.
There are many situations where video is unnecessary, and it would be more productive if employees communicated via email, instant messaging, or a shared document. So before scheduling a video call, figure out if the conversation is important enough that you need to simulate the experience of an in-person meeting.
When there’s an issue that requires more than an email but isn’t serious enough to warrant a video call, recording a one- to two-minute audio message can do. This gets the message across easily and allows employees to quickly get back to their work.
Learn how a trusted managed IT services provider like Prosum can help your remote teams leverage IT to work more efficiently and avoid burnout. Contact us today.