As someone who has spent many days and nights on Zoom over the last 12 months talking to people all around the world, I can relate. It is incredibly hard to abruptly pivot from a social, in-person work environment to a world where we only see images of faces on a screen. My personal record is 19 Zoom meetings in a day. It’s a record that some may be able to beat, but I’ll admit it was a struggle to make it through.
As with everything in life, moderation is critical, and when Zoom was founded 10 years ago, the intent was never to replace in-person interactions altogether. After all, the pandemic has shown how fatigue, especially video meeting fatigue, can impact productivity, job satisfaction and work-life balance. That’s why leaders must find ways to make meetings more manageable as employees continue to work remotely.
Here are some of my own practices to limit strain from a high volume of video conference meetings:
My colleagues, CFO Kelly Steckelberg and COO Aparna Bawa, encounter and combat fatigue in different ways from me, and from each other. Kelly likes to go for walks during some of her meetings. Aparna believes in putting wellness at the center of her life and workstyle and schedules screen breaks and power naps when possible. In acknowledging that we all have different experiences, we can grow, together, and create a new future of work that is comfortable and satisfying for everyone.
My hope is that Zoom can help provide the technological foundation for this new future. We are partnering with some of the world’s largest companies to help them reimagine their processes and provide them with the tools they need to adapt to a “work from anywhere” model. We’re working on features like virtual receptionists for offices, which would reduce direct contact as workers return to physical locations, and AI-enhanced smart gallery views, which creates a gallery view of in-room participants so people joining remotely feel equally part of the meeting as in-person participants, making for a more seamless hybrid experience. And we are also excited about what Zoom can provide in terms of supporting new remote jobs and use-cases across the workforce — creating new opportunities for everyone.
We all deserve to have the flexibility to work in the manner that is most productive for our preferences and beliefs. I am committed to making that happen for Zoom employees and our customers, and I encourage every business leader to do the same.