Working from home and using video-conferencing to keep us connected can be exhausting... there's actually a reason for that, and it's called video call fatigue
Between most of us spending a lot more time at home and a LOT more time with our partners and children, you might have noticed you have a little less energy and a little less pep in your step than usual. There’s a scientific reason for the lack of energy you’re experiencing and we’re going to share some tips to help you take on video meetings like a boss!
A bit of science … a boom in video-conferencing
In the UK alone, national (video) calls have increased by almost 750 per cent since lockdown. This huge shift to video calls has led to what is known by psychologists as “video call fatigue”.
Video call fatigue is the feeling of being worn out from endless virtual meetings, quizzes and chats.
The reason why these increased video calls are so exhausting is because they have caused a shift in communication behaviour and psychology, we’re having to adjust communication from what comes to us naturally, mainly due to:
- Feeling you have to “perform” for the camera - we can see ourselves when we’re talking and naturally want to present ourselves the best we can, (it can be distracting and increase self-awareness)
- Elongated gazes and pauses that become more emphasised and uncomfortable via video calls
With that in mind, it is advisable to try mixing in a few different communication methods, for example, telephone calls and emails.
Also, it’s advisable to not participate in every house party or virtual quiz and give yourself a break from seeing yourself and see if you notice a difference in energy levels.
When you’re exhausted, the last thing you probably want to do is run. Well, ironically, cardiovascular exercises like running or walking are fantastic for when your energy levels feel low.!
Running releases endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical that contributes to energy boosts even hours after you’re done - it’s fantastic for your physical health and comes with a lot of mental health benefits too.
If you’re not much of a runner, walking can be just as good... and what better time to start than when we’re working from home and have the luxury of showering straight away afterwards?
If you’re an early bird, a run/walk before work helps give you a boost to carry you through the day, rather than just making it through it will give you the drive you need to be productive and efficient.
If you're not a morning person, a quick walk/run on your lunch break can give you a burst of energy that’ll help power you over that post-lunch time dip.
Review your diet
One word probably immediately comes to mind when you think diet and energy - “coffee!” right?
Coffee is a great source of instant energy, but there are plenty of foods packed full of nutrients that can help contribute to higher energy and alertness levels too without the inevitable crash that comes with caffeine.
From bananas to brown rice, sweet potatoes and oily fish, mixing up what’s on the menu for your breakfasts and lunches doesn’t just add a boost of energy to your day, it makes meals much more exciting as well!
If you’re interested in doing away with the humble ham sandwich and giving your meals a nutritious pick me up, check out healthline’s 27 foods for inspiration.
Take a break
According to The Wellbeing Thesis, taking lunchtime breaks and detaching from work increases energy levels and decreases exhaustion.
Still, even with all of the proven health benefits associated with dedicated lunch breaks, the average UK worker only takes 27 minutes of their allotted lunch break, with almost a third of us chowing down at our desks rather than getting some much needed time away from our screens.
We’re all guilty of it, but dedicating (more) time to your lunch break and stepping away from your work and disconnecting allows you a moment to recharge.
Not only does taking breaks provide a physical energy boost, it also maximises focus going into afternoon working for the rest of the day too.
So go ahead… take a break, you deserve it!
Change your surroundings
Working from home doesn’t have to mean working the same old way every day.
Do you listen to music while you’re working? How about trying a totally different radio station?
Don’t normally listen to music at all while working? Why not give it a try one afternoon after lunch?
There are plenty of little ways you can change your environment and keep things fresh to increase your attention and energy levels. We’ve listed a few you can try below:
- Switching the rooms you’re working in
- Getting an indoor plant for your home office
- Opening a window and letting some fresh air in
- Playing with your pets/kids while on your breaks
- Listening to a podcast while working or on a break
Staring at an endless to-do list can be a tiring and anxiety inducing experience, especially when there’s no game plan for where to start… that’s where creating a plan comes into play!
Creating a daily, weekly or even monthly plan takes a huge load off because you know exactly what needs to be worked on, by whom, and when tasks need to be completed.
Planning can take as little as 5-10 minutes a day and gives back far more time than it consumes. Plus, plans aren’t just good for saving time, they have a bunch of other benefits like:
- Reducing stress
- Minimising anxiety
- Increasing productivity
- Improving sleep
One of the biggest advantages of having a plan is they can be used to delegate tasks for efficiency and impact, from social media marketing to sales - Download our free social media strategy blueprint here.
An important point to remember however is that plans are not fixed, don't beat yourself up if you don't follow the plan exactly, always try to be realistic and if you need to adjust your plans to accommodate changing circumstances.
Have you heard about the HubSpot CRM?
HubSpot is a fantastic tool perfect for remote working and can handle everything from planning to automated marketing and sales tasks and so much more.
Find out more in our blog 'Working from Home? 5 Reasons HubSpot is the Ultimate Remote Work Tool'
Maintaining Health & wellbeing
We’ve all had to get used to home working to some degree, but many aren’t aware of why it seems to be so much more exhausting than performing a role within a traditional bricks and mortar work place.
So now, armed with these effective ways of staying energised and boosted during a remote work day, you’ll be able to grab each work task by the horns with vibrancy and vigour!
When they say… “I don’t know where they find the energy” you know they’ll be talking about you!