There’s no getting around it, we need to have meetings to discuss work, life, and plans; there’s only so many ways to have meetings safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom is reporting a whopping 300 million daily meetings (Yes, 300,000,000), and studies have been popping up noting just how difficult it has been to transfer so much of our work lives to Zoom. From missing out on murmurs of agreement due to “mute unless speaking” policies, side glances we miss knowing anybody in the call can see you, to general difficulty in reading other people, Zoom meetings are possibly less fun than regular meetings . . . there’s a limit to the amount of joy one can feel wearing sweatpants and a button-up (still, it’s a fun secret to have, even if all 28 people in the meeting share the same one).
Studies have shown that Zoom’s gallery view exacerbate the complications one may have in perceiving others’ faces, which leads to split attention which leads to being and feeling less productive. While it’s important to be kind to yourself and maintain a level of understanding, there is work that needs to be done, and it is also important to be considerate of other people’s time.
- Begin each meeting with meditation or gratitude.
By kicking off your meetings with a moment of mindfulness, it sets the tone for the participants (and their brains!) and gives everyone a chance to get centered. This can look like simply taking 2 minutes of silence, or if someone is comfortable leading a meditation for the group then that’s great too! There are also tons of short meditations available online; our favorites are from our friends at The Running River Collective, many of them led by Work From Om® teacher Quazzy.
If meditation doesn’t feel right then your team could kick off with a simple gratitude practice. This looks like taking turns to share thanks for something someone else did, or simply going around and sharing good news with the team.
- Before signing in, minimize any distractions.
Since the simple act of participating in a Zoom meeting already creates the need to multitask, let’s not add fuel to the fire, okay? Try to set up in a quiet area, put your phone away and be sure to close out all of your other tabs. Our brains are not designed to multitask, and when we do, we produce cortisol, the stress hormone, which leads to anxiety and then even more stress. It’s a nasty cycle. Do everything you can to help focus your brain, and focus on the meeting at hand.
- Set a personal intention to be accountable.
We owe it to ourselves and to our colleagues to be present at work and respect each other’s time and energy. So, before heading into your Zoom meeting, take a moment to set an intention to give it your full attention. Your team deserves your focus and accountability to be a present, engaged employee–plus you’ll get more out of the meeting too.
- When possible, phone it in.
Sometimes (often times?) a video call isn’t really necessary. If you can, host meetings over the phone instead of Zoom. This eliminates the visual distractions that our brains can’t quite figure out and allows participants to completely focus on listening and participating in the conversation.
Plus, then you don’t have to put away that laundry.
When we use these mindfulness strategies at important meetings we notice a significant increase in employee engagement and can get through difficult topics more easily. Give these workplace wellness tips a try, and help your team feel accomplished and energized—they deserve it.
About Work From Om®
Work From Om® is on a mission to integrate well-being into every person’s workday. By partnering with conscious employers around the world, Work From Om® brings active mindfulness and movement into workplaces for healthier, happier and higher-functioning employees. Since its founding in 2014, the organization has worked with more than 150 companies and today continues to define the new standard for workplace well-being in a changing world. Learn more about the way Work From Om® empowers authenticity and practice-driven growth at www.workfromom.com and join our virtual community on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.