Understanding Zoom Fatigue (and How to Combat It)

June 7, 2023

7 min read

young annoyed female freelancer using laptop at home

In the era of remote work and virtual meetings, many of us have experienced the phenomenon known as Zoom fatigue. It’s important to know how to combat it, since this is a problem nearly all of us face. The excessive use of video conferencing platforms like Zoom, coupled with the unique challenges of online communication, can leave us feeling mentally and physically drained. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what exactly Zoom fatigue is, its causes, and most importantly, how you can avoid it. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to maintaining your energy and well-being in the virtual world.

What is Zoom Fatigue?

Zoom fatigue refers to the exhaustion and burnout resulting from prolonged and intensive use of video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. The constant virtual interactions, increased focus on non-verbal cues, and the cognitive overload associated with online communication can contribute to this draining experience. Understanding the factors that contribute to Zoom fatigue is the first step in effectively combating it.

Causes of Zoom Fatigue

Several factors contribute to the development of Zoom fatigue. Let’s explore some of the key culprits:

1. Constant Eye Contact: During in-person conversations, maintaining constant eye contact can be uncomfortable. However, on video calls, the expectation to maintain eye contact with participants can be mentally exhausting and unnatural.

2. Increased Self-Evaluation: On video calls, we find ourselves more self-conscious as we are constantly aware of our own appearance and how we are perceived by others. This self-evaluation can be mentally taxing and draining.

3. Reduced Non-Verbal Cues: Non-verbal communication plays a vital role in our understanding and interpretation of social interactions. However, on video calls, certain non-verbal cues may be limited or distorted, making it more challenging to interpret the full context of the conversation.

4. Multitasking and Cognitive Load: In virtual meetings, the temptation to multitask and divide our attention between the screen, chat messages, and other applications can lead to cognitive overload. This divided focus can be mentally exhausting and reduce our ability to fully engage in the conversation.

How Can You Avoid Zoom Fatigue?

Now that we understand the causes of Zoom fatigue, let’s explore some actionable strategies to combat it and restore your energy and well-being:

1. Take Regular Breaks

Schedule regular breaks between meetings or video calls. Use this time to step away from the screen, stretch, hydrate, or engage in a quick mindfulness exercise. These breaks allow your mind and body to recharge and prevent prolonged exposure to the virtual environment.

2. Optimize Your Environment

Create a comfortable and well-lit environment for your video calls. Ensure adequate lighting to reduce eye strain and consider adding some plants or personal touches to your surroundings to create a pleasant atmosphere. A comfortable and inviting environment can help alleviate the mental fatigue associated with virtual meetings. For more advice from work-from-home experts, check out this article on the key to optimizing your virtual work environment.

3. Practice the 20-20-20 Rule

To reduce eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from the screen and focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise helps relax your eyes and reduces the strain caused by prolonged screen time.

4. Minimize Multitasking

Avoid multitasking during video calls and dedicate your full attention to the conversation at hand. Close unnecessary applications or browser tabs to minimize distractions and increase your focus. By giving your undivided attention, you can actively participate in the discussion and reduce cognitive overload.

5. Engage in Non-Screen Activities

Balance your screen time by engaging in activities that don’t involve electronic devices. Take breaks to read a book, go for a walk, practice a hobby, or simply have a face-to-face conversation with a family member or friend. These non-screen activities provide a much-needed break from virtual interactions and help rejuvenate your mind.

Combat Zoom Fatigue with the Help of Yoodli

Yoodli wants to help you combat Zoom fatigue by harnessing the power of better speaking skills to make your virtual meetings run smoothly.

Yoodli, your AI-powered speech and communication coach, offers innovative ways to combat Zoom fatigue and enhance your virtual communication skills. Let’s explore some creative ways Yoodli can help alleviate the challenges of virtual meetings:

1. Private Presence and Transcripts

Yoodli can privately join your Zoom meetings as an unobtrusive participant. This allows you to focus on the conversation without feeling overwhelmed: Yoodli automatically generates meeting transcripts, providing you with a convenient reference to review later, reducing the need to strain your memory or take excessive notes during the meeting.

2. Feedback on Speech and Delivery

Yoodli’s advanced AI algorithms analyze your speech and delivery during Zoom meetings. It provides valuable feedback on factors such as clarity, pacing, tone, and non-verbal cues. By receiving real-time feedback from Yoodli, you can refine your communication skills and become a more confident and effective speaker. Clear, direct communication makes meetings shorter and more engaging, reducing the burden of Zoom fatigue on the rest of your team.

3. Practice Sessions with Yoodli

Yoodli offers interactive practice sessions to simulate real-life virtual interactions. These sessions allow you to practice your presentation skills, answer AI-generated follow-up questions, and deliver speeches in a supportive and judgment-free environment. By rehearsing with Yoodli, you can gain confidence and improve your virtual communication abilities, reducing the anxiety associated with online interactions.

4. Breakout Room Support

Yoodli can also accompany you in Zoom breakout rooms. Whether you need to practice a presentation or engage in group discussions, Yoodli can provide instant feedback on your performance. This feature encourages active participation, fosters collaboration, and helps combat Zoom fatigue by making virtual interactions more engaging and productive.

5. Customized Tips and Strategies

Yoodli tailors its feedback and recommendations based on your individual strengths and areas for improvement. It provides personalized tips and strategies to help you overcome specific challenges and enhance your virtual communication skills. By leveraging Yoodli’s insights, you can address your unique concerns and continuously develop as a speaker and communicator.

With Yoodli as your virtual companion, combating Zoom fatigue becomes an exciting opportunity to improve your communication skills and thrive in the virtual realm. Embrace Yoodli’s presence and let its innovative features transform your Zoom experience into a more engaging, interactive, and rewarding journey.

Combatting Zoom Fatigue in the Virtual Classroom

person writing on notebook. Here's how to combat Zoom fatigue, specifically for students.
Zoom fatigue can be particularly challenging for students attending virtual classes.

Zoom fatigue can be particularly challenging for students who spend significant time attending virtual classes and studying online. Here are some additional strategies specifically tailored to help students combat Zoom fatigue:

1. Create a Structured Schedule

Establish a structured schedule that includes dedicated time for breaks, physical activity, and offline activities. Having a well-planned routine allows for better time management and ensures that you have a balance between screen time and other activities.

2. Opt for Audio-Only Mode

Not all online interactions require video. When possible, consider switching to audio-only mode during classes or meetings where visual engagement is not essential. This change allows you to focus on the content being discussed without the added mental strain of constant visual stimulation.

3. Use Alternative Learning Materials

Don’t limit your learning solely to video lectures and online materials. Explore alternative resources such as textbooks, podcasts, or audiobooks to vary your learning experience. Incorporating different mediums can help reduce screen fatigue and engage different parts of your brain.

4. Engage in Active Learning

Rather than being passive recipients of information, actively participate in virtual classes. Take notes, ask questions, and contribute to discussions. Actively engaging in the learning process helps maintain focus and prevents mental exhaustion.

5. Practice Mindful Breaks

During breaks between classes or study sessions, practice mindfulness techniques to relax and recharge. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and focus on the present moment. Mindfulness exercises can help alleviate stress and provide a mental break from the virtual environment.

6. Connect with Peers

Stay connected with classmates outside of class time. Organize virtual study groups or social gatherings where you can engage in non-academic conversations. Connecting with peers allows for social interaction and reduces the feeling of isolation often associated with online learning.

7. Prioritize Self-Care

Don’t forget to prioritize self-care practices. Get sufficient sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and engage in regular physical activity. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial in combating Zoom fatigue and promoting overall academic success.

By implementing these strategies, students can mitigate the effects of Zoom fatigue and create a healthier and more balanced virtual learning experience.

Zoom fatigue can be particularly challenging for students who spend significant time attending virtual classes. By incorporating structured schedules, opting for audio-only mode, utilizing alternative learning materials, actively engaging in classes, practicing mindful breaks, connecting with peers, and prioritizing self-care, students can combat Zoom fatigue and make the most of their online learning journey. Remember, finding a balance between screen time and offline activities is key to maintaining your energy and well-being as a student in the digital age.


Zoom fatigue is a real phenomenon that can leave us feeling mentally and physically drained. By understanding its causes and implementing effective strategies to combat it, we can reclaim our energy and well-being in the virtual world. Remember to take regular breaks, optimize your environment, practice the 20-20-20 rule, minimize multitasking, and engage in non-screen activities. With these practical tips, you can navigate the world of online communication while preserving your vitality and enjoying more productive virtual interactions.


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