We are tired of Zoom.
It’s not just Zoom, but the idea of being on video all day that is straining our relationship with the same video technology that once seemed like it might offer us a salvation from the isolation of working remotely. The fatigue is predictable, and growing. There are also some several solutions that offer insight into how we can all deal with this challenge. Here are a few that emerged just over this past week:
1. Make the Experience Better
Microsoft launched their Together mode feature where backgrounds are static to help you feel like you are in the same room as your fellow participants. This is just one of many small tweaks we are likely to see with the tools we’re already using to try and make the experience better and closer to real life.
2. Upgrade/Reimagine the Hardware + Office
Zoom launched a $599 piece of hardware for home offices with cameras and microphones built in. Across the industry, laptop sales are booming. As people become accustomed to working remotely and realize that this style of working is likely to last for a long time to come, most of us are thinking of ways to upgrade our hardware and our home offices.
3. Innovate Better Tools
One of my favorite examples this week of a new tool re imagining the world of virtual presentations is a new app in private beta called Mmhmm that offers a fun level of interaction for virtual presentations (watch their demo video here) where you can make yourself larger or smaller, or even “ghost” yourself so that you’re see through and your slides are behind you. The app name was playfully chosen because “it’s important to have a brand name that people can say with their mouth full,” according to the founder. I’m just waiting for the app to get out of it’s Beta Apple only phase so I can try it out.
4. Create a Life Hack
Sometimes, you just need a way to avoid being on the meeting in the first place – which clearly provided inspiration for one guy to create a “Zoombot” that can be a stand-in for you on meetings you desperately want to skip.
5. Embrace the Phone
While there doesn’t seem to be a widespread movement or anything back to the phone, I’m finding that in many of my own interactions with people – we are rediscovering the joy of just being on the phone and on audio with one another without the added pressure and distraction of the video. It’s making me more conscious about whether I assume any meeting will have video. Instead, I often ask the person I’m meeting with whether they prefer to have video or not.
Are you seeing other ways that people are conquering this Zoom Fatigue? I’d love to hear them. We’re working on a new edition of my Non-Obvious Guide to Virtual Meetings and Remote Work right now and I’m open to any other suggestions!