Until this year, you may have only taken part in a few online meetings, if any. But as the world changes (and boy, has it changed!), so does the way most meetings are conducted. Today, if you’re planning a meeting, there’s a good chance it will be an online meeting.

But for many of us, this newfound world of constant online meetings is nothing short of overwhelming. Whether you’re frustrated with difficult technology or a lack of face to face interaction, it’s completely understandable if you never want to attend a virtual meeting again! In fact, this has even led to a phenomenon known as “online meeting burnout.”

5 Effective Ways to Avoid Online Meeting Burnout

What is online meeting burnout?

If you’re suddenly tasked with doing something multiple times a day, it’s no wonder you get burnt out from it! The same can go for online meetings. After spending hours upon hours staring at a screen and attending or conducting online meetings, you might feel both mentally and physically exhausted. This is known as online meeting burnout. And while it’s not an actual medical diagnosis, for many people, it’s all too real.

So, whether you’re feeling it already or you want to make sure it doesn’t get to that point, how can you avoid this type of burnout? Here are some of our top tips for doing just that.

How to avoid online meeting burnout

Set boundaries

Sure, some meetings are mandatory. But whenever possible, set boundaries for yourself and the time you spend on meeting online. There are different ways to do this, including setting up a digital calendar and only opening up certain spots for virtual meetings. Once these spots are full, anyone who wants to have this type of meeting with you will need to wait for another day.

Another option is simply saying no or asking to reschedule when you need to. Understandably, this might feel awkward at first. But it will pay off by helping you avoid online meeting burnout! And more often than not, you’ll probably find the other meeting participants are happy to wait.

Schedule breaks

You’ll also want to schedule quick breaks when you can. Not to mention, follow through on actually taking these breaks by enforcing the boundaries you’ve set for your meeting schedule.

So, even if you only have a few minutes between online meetings, try to take that time to stretch, drink a glass of water, a few breaths of fresh air, or even just interact with your pet.

Help your team out

Consider this: if you’re experiencing online meeting burnout, chances are your team or whoever you’re having these meetings with is feeling the same! As the host, you can also be responsible for cutting things off when you’re ready for a break.

Keep an eye out for yawning, fidgeting, and other signs of disengagement. Take these as signs it’s either time to end the meeting or switch things up. Your team will thank you!

Another option is sending out surveys to your team to see how they’re feeling about meeting schedules and formats. You can start by asking them if they’re feeling burnt out or ready for a change. If you’re worried they won’t feel empowered to speak up, you can offer up anonymity features to encourage participation.

Condense online meeting content when you can

Meetings, whether in person or online, have a way of lasting a lot longer than you expect.

If you’re in charge of organizing and hosting a meeting, put some thought into what the meeting will cover ahead of time. Try to organize each talking point and highlight the most important topics to make sure those are covered first. That way, if your meeting needs to end before you’ve made it through all of your notes, you’ll at least know you’ve covered the most important points.

Keep efficiency in mind

Not only is organizing your talking points ahead of time one way to keep your meetings efficient, but so is using the right online meeting tools. Let’s say you’re conducting a Q&A–these can run notoriously long. With audience interaction tools on your side, you can organize questions into groups, filter repetitive or offensive questions, and even save unanswered questions for later so everyone gets the answers they’re waiting for!

Looking for more ways to keep your online meetings fun, engaging, and efficient? Let’s talk–we’ve got a lot of tricks and tools up our sleeves!

In the meantime, take a look at these other posts to make your remote events better than ever:

9 Get-to-Know-You Questions to Bond with Your Remote Team

Important Benefits & Considerations for Virtual AGMs

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