I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

In this research from Microsoft the findings are clear. Video meetings lead to fatigue and that fatigue begins to set in at the 30 to 40min mark.

Virtual meeting fatigue

As Matt Mullenweg recently shared in his remote work maturity levels most companies are currently trying to replicate in-office synchronous work online and it’s exhausting.

Adopting asynchronous working as the default will drastically reduce video meeting fatigue. The following DOES NOT require a video meeting:

> Weekly & monthly updates
> Project planning
> Project discussions
> General feedback

The above should not take place via email either. Email is a terrible way to collaborate, instead this should all take place in the company’s Enterprise Social Network (eg MS Team Channels, Facebook Workplace, Slack etc.)

Highly successful fully remote teams adopt the sentiments of the team at Basecamp: “The goal is to avoid meetings. Every minute you avoid spending in a meeting is a minute you can get real work done instead.”

They continue:

“For those times when you absolutely must have a meeting (this should be a rare event), stick to these simple rules:

Set a 30 minute timer. When it rings, meeting’s over. Period.
Invite as few people as possible.
Never have a meeting without a clear agenda.”