Remote Team Building: How to Conquer Zoom Fatigue

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“Zoom fatigue” is so real that it now has its own Wikipedia page.

Conquering Zoom fatigue is no easy feat. Remote teams can’t suddenly cancel all virtual meetings. While asynchronous work is great, Zoom meetings need to happen.

The key to beating Zoom fatigue lies not in getting rid of all meetings, but in making the meetings themselves about more than just the work.

Here are some of the best ways to conquer Zoom fatigue, once and for all.

Make room for socialization in your regular Zoom calls by utilizing Breakout Rooms.

This doesn’t mean forcing your employees to attend an awkward virtual happy hour at the end of an already-long work day. It means reserving just a few minutes of your existing calls for connecting with one another.

At the start of your next All Hands meeting, Sales Kickoff, or training call, set aside five to ten minutes for non-work related conversation. Our team uses our own app, twine for Zoom, for these conversations. 

Our CEO simply opens the app, clicks “Shuffle,” and the app automatically launches our team into three-minute-long, back-to-back Breakout Room conversations that rotate when the time is up. It gives us all a moment to meaningfully connect with one another, before diving into the typical work content once we’re back in the main room. 

twine for Zoom in action.

Play around with Zoom Apps.

Like twine for Zoom, Zoom Apps are extensions that you can add to your meeting. You can play games, collaborate on interactive whiteboards, or add in spontaneous wellness breaks. Every Zoom App is required to have some sort of free version, so teams can play around and see what works for them.

Check out some of our favorite Zoom Apps for remote team building here.

Encourage attention by playing a long-running game.

On team twine, one of our employees recently discovered that if you physically make a “thumbs up” motion, or physically raise your hand, Zoom detects the motion and responds by adding the corresponding emoji reaction to your video window. 

We now challenge each other to try and make these motions as subtly as possible. If a team member can successfully activate a Zoom reaction without another colleague noticing their hand, they get a point. If someone notices it, they call out the name in Zoom’s chat. At the end of the quarter, we add up the points and declare a winner.

Your team can try our silly reaction game, or come up with your own sort of pattern-recognizing game. (Just make sure not to derail the calls by yelling out: “I saw that, Josh!”)

Embrace a “Cameras On” mindset, but be understanding.

Encouraging a cameras-on policy encourages remote team members to actively be present in calls. Not everyone wants to be on camera all the time, but our team has found that by making a conscious effort to have our faces visible, we feel more connected to one another.

That being said, sometimes people just don’t want to be on camera some days. Whether a team member feels under the weather, or their eight-week-old puppy has dropped a visible surprise on the carpet (yes, this happened to a twine employee mid-Zoom call), be understanding about extenuating circumstances.

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Encouraging remote team building is the first step in conquering Zoom fatigue. Our own team has made connection such a priority that we have yet to see an employee quit. For more ideas on how to keep your remote team connected and engaged, check out this article from our founder.

PS: twine for Zoom is a key ingredient in conquering Zoom fatigue. Download it here; it’s free for up to 5 people!

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Team twine

Foster camaraderie & connection

Teams that use twine see higher engagement, increased productivity, and strengthened connections amongst employees.

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