At the beginning of our shift to remote work, Asana—like many companies—encouraged video conferencing as a way to connect with teammates. And while connecting over video has a lot of advantages, prolonged remote work is also bringing to light the fatigue associated with spending large amounts of time on video calls.
To hear how companies worldwide are maximizing connection without overloading on video conferencing, we asked Asana customers how they’re maintaining their energy while working remotely. Here are their best tips and tricks on how to work remotely, chat over video, and avoid fatigue while doing so.
Align on video conferencing rules with your team
“At Car Next Door we have a Charter created with inputs from all team members around best practices of how to communicate, run projects, and run meetings. Some rules in our Charter include:
- Considering whether a meeting is required or whether online collaboration with tools like Asana are sufficient.
- Limiting meetings to 25 minutes whenever possible, and sticking to a prepared agenda where everyone can access the meeting’s action items.
- Politely excusing yourself if you don’t feel like you need to attend the meeting.
- Booking a meeting at least 24 hours in advance so participants have time to prepare and read any relevant documents before the start of the meeting.
Having a Charter in place allows us to point to something that we all have agreed on if meetings are not running smoothly, and it gives team members an avenue to make suggestions on how we can improve our virtual meetings.” —Marty Newkirk, Product Manager at Car Next Door
Don’t hold a video call unless you need it
“To fight off video call fatigue, we proactively encourage our team members to communicate in Asana. This ensures two things: 1) We avoid unnecessary meetings that take up a lot of people’s time and 2) We track all of our progress and communications on various projects openly where everyone can see them.” —Jeremy Boudinet, Marketing Manager at Nextiva
Use asynchronous updates to keep stakeholders aligned
“Sometimes, hopping on a quick Zoom is totally necessary—but sometimes it isn’t. Tools like Asana are perfect for asynchronous updates. Use Status updates so stakeholders know whether a project is on track, at risk, or off track. If a certain team member needs to review or approve a task, @-mention them in it so they’re aware. Or, create Forms that automatically create tasks for requests like a new email campaign or social post. Asana is a must-have for situations like these.” —Whitney Rudeseal Peet, Digital Marketing Specialist at Litmus.
Share short videos and other visuals, rather than holding a meeting
“We noticed that typing out project details into each Asana task was not as efficient as we would like. Instead, we started attaching screen recordings, screenshots, and even GIFs to tasks that included integral information. We found that pairing Asana tasks with video and screenshots that we created with CloudApp provided an added layer of context and reduced the number of repeat meetings we needed. We love having Asana paired with CloudApp in our productivity tool kit.” —Joe Martin, GM and VP of Marketing at CloudApp
Keep meetings as short as possible
“We’re a fast moving, dynamic team with a lot of work to do—and I want to respect that. We’ve minimized Zoom and Google Meet fatigue by holding an intentionally brief 15 minute daily check in. The check in is held every day at the same time. This new routine minimizes the need for other side meetings, since we’re all in the meeting together. It is also meant to keep everyone aligned, and feeling ‘in the know,’ which is tough when we’re all virtual.” —Kenah Cooper, Director of Marketing at Gorjana
Try speaker view to recreate a face-to-face conversation
“As in any human interaction it’s important to focus on the person speaking. Staring at a wall of faces for long periods of time is surprisingly tiring (and can start to look like a scene from the Muppet Show!) but switching to ‘speaker view’ allows you to concentrate properly on the person speaking and what they are actually saying.” —Ed Fox, Director of Marketing and Communication at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Take time to disconnect and immerse yourself in an art activity
“When you find yourself plagued by a relentless stream of video calls, it’s important to take some time, even if it’s a few moments, to step away and disconnect. Here at SFMOMA, we’ve put together a toolbox for disconnection: a selection of content that may inspire you to unwind, unplug, and take a moment to yourself. It includes art activities you can do at home, ruminations on beloved brick-and-mortar landmarks in the Bay Area, and reflections on our local landscapes and natural environment.” —The SFMOMA team. To provide your employees with access to their creative environment and content, learn about their Corporate Engagement program.
Fewer meetings, more flow
With the Asana meeting agenda template, you can prepare for meetings, capture action items, and make decisions asynchronously. Share your meeting agenda project with your team in advance, and reduce the number and duration of meetings you need to be in.