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Whilst working remotely has several advantages, the fact that I’m inundated with back-to-back virtual meetings is very frustrating. This, paired with the climbing covid-19 infections and winter’s cold weather, has left me with a bad case of virtual meeting fatigue.
I often check my schedule for the day to determine if a decent blouse, hairbrush, and makeup are required. As a Wellness Provider and Mental Health advocate, I recognise that this is not healthy behaviour. I firmly believe we should cut ourselves some slack during these challenging and uncertain times, but it should benefit our health, not deter it.
So, if you are battling with productivity, virtual meeting fatigue and a general lack-lustre approach to life at the moment – here are three tips to give your workday a blast of positivity.
Dress yourself happy
Rolling out of bed and straight in front of the computer screen doesn’t do much for your energy and productivity levels. Your daily routine physically prepares you for the day ahead. Everything from morning exercise, a shower and getting dressed to preparing and eating breakfast sets the tone for your day.
There is some psychology behind what we wear and how we feel. Not only does colour affect our mood, but our emotions can also be linked to our outfits.
Start your day the way you would have pre-covid. Take the time to think about what you will wear for the day. Yellow, pink and red clothing can have an uplifting, positive effect on your mood, whilst the colour blue helps with feelings of calm.
Furthermore, there is a difference between casual and comfortable, and last nights pyjamas. Whilst it may not be practical to wear a tailored suit at home (although if it makes you feel great, then go for it), tracksuit pants and leggings are likely to perpetuate feelings of helplessness.
It’s simple; if you look good, you’ll feel good. You may be more inclined to put your video on and engage with colleagues during the virtual meetings.
Smiles are contagious
Smiles are contagious so put your video on. Smiling boosts your mood and can also elevate the mood of others and create a sense of connection.
Smiling projects positivity and confidence, even if it doesn’t reflect how you genuinely feel. Sometimes even a fake smile has the power to boost your mood.
Start your meetings with a beaming smile, and whilst doing so, take some time for small talk. By starting a session with the video on, you can align responses with body language and take a call offline with colleagues when something feels off.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette
I hate having back-to-back meetings. So I’ve decided to change the way I manage the meetings I host. I have recently implemented three simple things.
Firstly, I make sure I only invite those people that need to be there. If I can’t think of a question or topic point to call on a specific person, I question whether they are necessary for that meeting. Secondly, I make sure I share the agenda and supporting information in advance. By giving people the opportunity to review minutes, presentations, etc., beforehand, I find that meetings are more productive and efficient and take up less time.
Finally, I don’t schedule meetings on the hour for an hour. I cut the hour short by 10 or 15 minutes, providing colleagues with the opportunity to stretch legs, grab a cup of tea or use the restroom in between meetings.
It’s still early days, but by making a concerted effort to look (and feel) presentable, smile (I have a reminder on my desk), and practice good virtual meeting etiquette, I’m feeling a lot more positive and a little less tired.