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How to Avoid Screen Fatigue

We’re all having more online meetings than ever before. We’re also having to spend more time working from home than ever before. Many of us are having to live and work in the same space as lockdowns force us to stay at home. Spending all that time staring at a screen can take its toll. 

Be it through Zoom, Google Meets, Skype or Slack, all that screen time can hit your productivity. So how do you tackle screen fatigue once and for all?

What is Screen Fatigue?

Screen fatigue is another name for eye strain. Eye strain is fairly common - most of it will have experienced it. It happens when your eyes have been overworked. Generally, a good night’s rest puts things back to right. 

The problems can set in when you end up with eye strain day-in, day-out. Repeated eye strain can cause chronic headaches, tiredness and can even lead to fatigue. 

Looking at screens forces your eyes to work harder than they normally would. That’s why, in normal times, you’re always encouraged to minimise your screen time. But that’s easier said than done at the moment. 

home office

Why Do We Get It?

Programmes like Zoom and Skype don’t allow us to separate our private and work lives as we normally would. 

Even if you’re doing something enjoyable over video chat, like talking with friends or having a virtual happy hour, you’re still using a tool that’s now become essential to your work life. On a small, unconscious level, your brain associates video chats with online meetings and workshops. In short, your brain struggles to wind down. 

Once it thinks it’s being overworked, your brain reacts. This leads to eye strain. Your brain needs to be able to relax and wind down - especially during these trying times. 

So how can you go about mitigating, or at least limiting, eye strain?

home office

Minimising Screen Fatigue

This might seem difficult given the fact that so many of us are having to work remotely at the moment. But there are still ways and means of minimising screen fatigue and its impacts. 

  • Turn your camera off

Keeping your camera off when it doesn’t need to be on means that your eyes won’t be working unnecessarily whilst you listen to the meeting. 

  • Schedule breaks

When working from home, it can be easy to work through the day without properly stopping. Taking your lunch hour away from your computer and taking short breaks throughout the day can help replicate your normal working day more closely.

  • Plan meetings well

By planning meetings well beforehand, you can get through the agenda more quickly and minimise the time spent in front of the screen. It’ll also make any technical glitches a little frustrating as meetings will be quicker. 

By doing these things, you can help to minimise screen fatigue. We might all have to work from home for a while yet, so avoiding screen fatigue should become a top priority for you.

Want to learn how to maintain a healthy work-life balance during these difficult times?

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Last updated: 12 Jan 2021

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