When we meet face to face there’s that little down time you get walking between rooms … but when it’s virtual meeting after virtual meeting it really does stress our brains.
Research by Microsoft demonstrates how constant video calls increase “brain noise” (don’t you love that term!).
To give yourself (and your colleagues) that much-needed break, in Google calendar you can change your Settings to make your default meeting 45 mins rather than 60.
In other calendars you might just need to remember to whack 10 mins off the end of every meeting invite you send.
There are other ways to help your brain cope with constant video calls by the experts at Stanford.
Smaller faces & create space: Take Zoom out of full-screen. Reduce the size of the Zoom window to make people’s faces smaller. Use an external keyboard to put more space between you and the grid.
Hide you from you: Use the “hide self-view” button – right-click on the 3 dots on your image (but remember everyone else can still see you!)
Have a break (don’t) have a kit-kat
Try to set up your room so you can pace and doodle in virtual meetings just like we do in real ones. Allow yourself/others to periodically turn your video off during meetings to provide a brief nonverbal rest.
Turn and face (away from) the strange
During long stretches of meetings, give yourself an “audio-only” break. “This is not simply you turning off your camera to take a break from having to be nonverbally active, but also turning your body away from the screen,” Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab says, “so that for a few minutes you are not smothered with gestures that are perceptually realistic but socially meaningless.”