Video conferencing are not new. It have been around for some time. Even though meeting through videos can never be as good as meeting up in real life, it is a necessity. Not only it save companies thousands of money to do video meetings instead of flying out their employees, it also better for the environment.

For many industries today, video meetings are essential because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With video meetings, teams can still meet up and do their tasks together to keep the business afloat.

However, some of my friends have commented that video meetings tend to exhaust them greatly since the pandemic began. Why do they feel this way?

Please allow me to explain simply…

Here are the major reasons why video meetings can get exhausting:

1. It requires more focus

Video meetings require people to focus more compared to face-to-face meetings.

In video chats, we have to be able to determine cues better and it can be made more difficult if the other side has poor internet connection. As a result, one feels disconnected towards the people we are speaking with.

Furthermore, when we are in these meetings, our bodies are not truly into the meeting because we are stressed out about our appearance on the screen and how people see us.

We are also working double time to prevent our anxiety from appearing on the screen, disabling us from taking in the discussion.

2. It makes us feel uncomfortable

Silence in video calls can also make us feel uncomfortable, especially if there is a delay in the reception or one runs out of things to say. While silence in conversations is normal, the delays on video calls can make people feel as if the people they are speaking to are not really listening or they are not very friendly.

Video meetings can also become uncomfortable because we are very aware that everyone can see you. This puts you under pressure and forces you to contribute even if you do not feel confident enough to do so.

3. Our current situation is causing us to feel stressed

While we are in these video calls, we are already feeling the strain of our situation outside these meetings.

Currently, most of us are feeling stressed because of the pandemic, forcing us to work from home rather than in our normal working environment. Others are strained because they are not happy working from home.

Read More: Tweets from Working at Home Parents who are going Crazy

Video meetings remind us all that we are not working in a normal environment and that something has disrupted our normal routine. No matter who you are, the disruption caused by the situation is causing us to feel stressed.

Since we are all locked at home, we are unable to be with the people that we love and have to make do with online calls. Our inability to be with them makes us more vulnerable to negative feelings such as stress.

Keep that Energy Up!

It is normal to feel exhausted after each video meeting as our mind is working constantly during this period. However, it is important that you are able to balance out by reducing the amount of calls you have to take, turning off the camera for a bit to get back your focus and other similar techniques.

Although these calls enable work to continue, there will be times that you feel detached during these calls to the point you don’t react accordingly to cues. As a result, you may be in the meeting but you are not completely there.

So, instead of dunking coffee after coffee, here are some quick tips to save you from falling asleep.

1. Know your role in the meeting

Before you join the meeting, take some time to process what the meeting is all about and what your role is during the meeting.

Are you presenting a report to your teammates or team leader? What kind of contribution do you want to make during the meeting? Have your files ready for your discussion and be alert when you are cold. 

If you will not be sharing any critical information, ask yourself what you want to learn from the discussions.

Asking yourself this question will help you focus on the discussion and give the right respect to the speakers by staying silent as they explain the information.

2. Recognise the last speaker

Like in any meeting, there will be people who will suddenly jump into the discussion without letting the speaker finish their statement or even recognise that the speaker said anything.

The speaker would then respond to try and explain what they are trying to say to make it more understandable. Sadly, this slows down the meeting and can frustrate everyone.

To refocus the meeting, repeat what the last speaker said based on your understanding and even ask the speaker if you got everything correctly.

This will help the other participants to listen to the discussion carefully and help them be reassured that their first understanding of the meeting was correct.

3. Analyse the points discussed

Put yourself in the position of the meeting coordinator. It can be hard for them to keep up with the conversation, especially if everyone wants to talk.

While you are in the meeting, listen to everyone’s statements and see where you can help the conversation back on track.

By pointing out these points, the others in the meeting will be able to see the general topic and return back to a meaningful discussion.

4. Writing your thoughts down

It is unavoidable that we do wander off at times without us meaning to be disrespectful. You can help your wandering thoughts in place by writing your thoughts down.

Have a piece of paper with you and writing down what you are thinking. Once you write your thoughts down, you can refocus back to the meeting.

5. Ask questions

Don’t be shy! It is important to ask questions if you find yourself distracted during the meeting. Asking questions can help you get back on the meeting.

If one aspect of the discussions is unclear, don’t be afraid to ask for a clarification. When you ask for a clarification, others who may have questions can get the clarifications they need to also focus back on the meeting.

Read More: Meeting Hacks that will make you look Great!

6. Keep Your Tummy Half Empty

Always feel sleepy after a full meal? Don’t torture yourself if you know that you have a video meeting right after lunch.

Keeping your diet healthy will increase your focus power as well. Food like flaxseed, dark chocolates or even energy bars will be awesome for a light lunch. You can binge on a heavy meal during dinner later.

7. Energy Booster

Instead of grabbing that cup of coffee, do a power run for 20mins. Or try skipping rope. Perhaps some pushups or sit-ups?

As long as you get your heart pumping and your adrenaline running, you can stay awake for that 2 hour-long video conference.


By having these steps available for you, you can reduce the exhaustion you get from video meetings and make yourself more productive when you need to do them.

Video meetings will definitely be a norm for many of us even after the pandemic ends. Instead of staying idle during these meetings, inspire yourself to focus and take in the information so you can find ways to apply it to your work. It will definitely open opportunities for you in the long run if your co-workers see that you are taking each meeting seriously in your own way.

Check out these articles how to be productive when you are working from home:
How to Work at Home with Young Kids without Going Crazy
Best Technology Gadgets to Boost Our Productivity and Comfort when We Work from Home
How to Meet Deadlines in Your Workplace

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
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47 replies on “Why Are Video Conferences So Exhausting and What You Can Do About it

  1. Zooming with preschoolers is difficult. They are distracted and don’t understanding talking and muting. Teachers are jumping through hoops to make this fun and interesting for children. It is exhausting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree. I don’t see the point making toddlers sit through the online classes unless it is a sing-a-long or a dance-a-long. Even then, YouTube are full of those videos anyways. My daughter learn more with me than sitting in front of the screen for one hour, watching her teacher trying to calm the students down or shouting over their screams. What a nightmare!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Our ministry is now completely virtual. So far everyone is ok with it, but it does have some quirks such as logging us off or others not being able to connect. All of our teachings are now done online also. It takes a lot of getting used to. Especially when people forget the meetings.😊👣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can always send a reminder like a countdown email to remind folks to attend your meeting. But I find that I could be easily distracted like 5 mins to the meeting, I will get up to grab a cup of water and along the way to the kitchen, I would forget I have a meeting waiting for me. Lol!


  3. The worry over how you appear to other participants is very distracting! I try not to fuss too much, but not knowing who can see me when makes me feel uneasy. I have learned to just turn my camera off occasionally when I’m not required to take an active role so that I can stretch without distracting anyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gosh, did I need this! I HATE the online meetings we are forced to deal with right now due to major upgrades to our building. There are huge assessments involved so they ARE important, but my technological skills are limited and things go awry in any case. Some of the voices aren’t clear, some don’t appear at all but join via phone. It all makes me crazy. I can’t wait for this pandemic to end so we can meet in person as we did before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you! For technology wise, I prefer phone calls than email or text. For meetings, I prefer face to face than any other communication. It still feel so much better and productive to meet in person.


  5. Such a wonderful blog, Kally. About three months ago I conducted a workshop with a local government via video conference that lasted four hours. The aim was to develop the Shire’s response to the pandemic. The workshop went extremely well, but the next day I was beyond exhausted. For me as the facilitator I needed to concentrate on the energy levels of my participants as well. And, yes you are right about the cues. There are some meetings I find myself saying “do I even need to be here?” I can see I will need to embrace a little bit of physical activity when this happens in future 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Sean. If it is a full day workshop, yes I’ll be totally exhausted and not wanting to speak to another human being for hours too. Lol!

      And welcome to MiddleMe!

      Liked by 1 person

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