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Work from home may have seemed like a boon to many when it first began to be implemented. The thought of not having to drive, having to be on the roads for endless hours, catching up on some much-needed sleep and being able to find the time for much-loved passion projects were driving up the excitement levels. As time has passed it has become evident that working from home during a lockdown is not as simplistic. And it is not just that it isn’t simple. An additional concern involves the increasing levels of fatigue that many people feel when they have to be on different virtual platforms continually to attend meetings or engage with clients.

You might wonder about why this is becoming such a prominent concern being raised by many. The fact is that being on a virtual platform requires you to be exceptionally attentive. You have limited non-verbal cues available from the other people you are engaging with as you can’t view the entirety of their body language. As a result, you often have to narrowly focus on the subtle details of how they are responding to what you are sharing or discussing. Further, many find that it can be harder to connect with other people over virtual mediums - this leads to feeling disengaged and even uninterested. Given that these are important conversations, an additional effort needs to be put into them to maintain attentiveness and focus.

These factors have brought to the fore the need for considered thought towards how this fatigue can be prevented from setting in to such a degree where it compromises productivity, can impact your moods and also lead to stress and strain in both professional and personal relationships. Here are some helpful suggestions to enable dealing with this.

  • Start off slow and build up the momentum: This starts right from the moment you wake up. So it translates into waking up with enough time in hand that you can take care of your morning rituals with ease and get ready comfortably before you launch yourself fully into your work. Take time especially as you sit down to start and try to keep at least the first 15 minutes to get your things in order and get yourself set up before you start the day with your meetings.
  • Plan meetings keeping in mind the narrowness of your attention span: It is likely that you are not shifting your approach from how you usually function on a regular workday. So you perhaps line up continuous meetings. It is important to take cognizance of the narrowing of your attention span on account of the fatigue that can build and plan meetings keeping this in mind.
  • Remember to move about: Like you would have moved around during your regular workdays, remember to keep moving even now. There may be less reason to do so now - with everything happening on one gadget, you may forget that you have been sitting on the same spot for an extended period of time which is contributing to the fatigue you feel. So get into that mini mental break by moving around, getting yourself a glass of water, popping into the other room to see what the rest of your family members are doing or just take a peep outside by heading to your window or balcony. (Read more: How to workout during lockdown)
  • Mix up the tasks as much as possible: Utilizing the same set of skills and cognitive processes is far more fatiguing. It is important to keep utilizing different parts of your mind by mixing up the tasks that you need to do for work as much as possible. This can also be accomplished by mixing up the type of decision-making or problem-solving skills that may be required by different tasks. The more variance you can get into the work that you are doing, the less likely you are to feel fatigued.
  • Don’t forget the fun and the banter: Many meetings may start off seriously and involve discussions on topics which are of great significance for the future. However, it is important to not forget the fun and the banter that has always been part of working together in teams. Find the lighter moments during the calls that you are doing and get to experience that same laughter that you would have if you were in your office. This is a role that is of great importance particularly if you are managing or leading teams!
  • End your workday with some planning and reflection: This may not be something that you do often during your regular workdays. But this can be a useful routine to follow now. It is a good idea to take some time towards the end of your day to plan for the next day so you have a fair notion of how you need to plan your morning routines and also budget for some breaks in-between your virtual meetings. This means you need to reflect on how you spent the day and what is pending and also look at what you did accomplish, to end the day on a good note.
  • Maintain the boundaries of time: Just because you are working from home and can easily access your “work stuff” now does not mean that you let go of the boundaries of time. You must try to stick to work timings, though a little up and down can be accommodated. However, by and large, having a start and end time to your day will be helpful in bringing predictability to your routine which will also enable you to feel less drained at the end.

These steps address one facet of your work life and following these will contribute to you experiencing a sense of balance in how your days progress at work, contributing towards reduced levels of fatigue overall.

  1. Doctors for 7 steps to beat the fatigue of virtual meetings
Dr. SIBANANDA MISHRA

Dr. SIBANANDA MISHRA

Psychology
25 Years of Experience

Geetika Kapoor

Geetika Kapoor

Psychology
12 Years of Experience

Nishtha Narula

Nishtha Narula

Psychology
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Kamna Chhibber

Dr. Kamna Chhibber

Psychology
13 Years of Experience

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