7 Ways To Prevent Virtual Onboarding Zoom Fatigue


Virtual onboarding is a wonderful way to connect with new employees when you are stuck inside. While many companies have learned about the power of remote onboarding during the pandemic, there are still some things we need to work out. Like the excessive amount of Zoom meetings we need to be on to make remote onboarding successful. How do you connect with new employees virtually without Zoom fatigue? We are here to give you some strategies to stop virtual onboarding Zoom fatigue in its tracks.

1. Allow New Employees To Keep Their Cameras Off During Certain Virtual Onboarding Activities

Being on video is probably the most exhausting part of using Zoom to onboard. Video can be an excellent tool if you are looking to connect with your new employees, but they don’t need to be on video every second of the onboarding process.

Let your new team members know that they can feel free to turn off their cameras during the onboarding process. Your new employees will likely keep their cameras on most of the time, but having the option to go dark for a few minutes helps everyone feel more comfortable.

There is a massive difference between going into the office and letting people into your home virtually. Some people are not comfortable with being that intimate with people they just met. Giving options give the people in your virtual onboarding group the choice they need to feel in control of this stressful process.

2. Limit Meeting Times So They Are More Efficient

Does your lunch and learn need to take an hour? Can you shorten the length of that meeting to move things along?

Think back to Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law explains that:

It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

So, what does that mean for your virtual onboarding program? If you allow a meeting to last for two hours, everyone will find a way for that meeting to last for two hours. If you are specific about what you include in your meeting, you might find that it’s possible to pare it down into a more manageable experience.

You might not be able to (or want to) make every meeting as efficient as possible. It’s okay to linger and get excited about working with the latest employees on your team, but you should do this within reason.

Is the meeting long because it makes more sense that way, or because you are stuck in your ways?

3. Add Focused Project Time During Every Day Of The Virtual Onboarding Process

Everyone loves being able to break out of their Zoom rut and get off the camera for a bit. Make sure that you add in time for everyone to get focused work done, even while you are onboarding employees.

You should assign all new employees a project or two that they can work on during the virtual onboarding process. This project may or may not be related to their regular work duties, but something they can work on solo. These special projects allow new employees to take some time away from Zoom and away from the computer to decompress and get back in working order.

WorkBright Tip

Frontload your employees’ daily virtual onboarding experience. Put video-focused activities in the morning and allow them to decompress with solo activities in the afternoon. This will give new employees plenty of time to decompress and prevent Zoom fatigue during this process.

virtual-onboarding-zoom 4. Utilize The Telephone While Onboarding New Employees

While video is amazing, sometimes a quick phone call is all you need to shake things up a bit. When you are conducting 1:1 meetings, ask if your employees would rather talk on the phone instead of on video.

This quick change will make a huge impact and give your employees the variance they need to get through onboarding week. Like we stated earlier, everything doesn’t need to be a video call. Telephones are an excellent way to communicate with your new team members when video gets tiresome.

5. Use A Variety Of Presenters During The Onboarding Process

Onboarding needs variety because onboarding is an extremely challenging process for new employees. New team members are trying to learn new names, faces, and procedures as they start their new job.

Varying presenters give your new employees the chance to meet more people while helping them understand the information presented. It also improves the likelihood that information will stick because they may associate the information with the people teaching them.

6. Add Breaks To Lengthier Virtual Onboarding Sessions

While we shared the Parkinson’s Law earlier, we understand that some meetings need to be longer. If you want to prevent virtual onboarding Zoom fatigue, you need to recognize when people need a break.

If you are holding someone’s attention for longer than an hour, you need to count on taking at least a five-minute break during the meeting. Breaks are helpful because they allow us to reset. For most people, focus ends after around 50 minutes. A lot of factors can impact this experience for your employees, though.

Think about the primary purpose of your employee onboarding program. Likely you want to:

  • educate your new employees
  • form a bond with them
  • get them excited about working for your company

It’s hard to do any of those things when your onboarding schedule pushes them past their limits. Breaks are an essential part of any onboarding program.

WorkBright Tip

Don’t be so stuck to your onboarding calendar that you forget to see where your employees need a break. Read the room to ensure that you are letting people take a break when it is convenient for them––not your schedule.

7. Consider Time Zones When Scheduling Virtual Onboarding Activities

Last but not least, consider time zones when putting together your virtual onboarding experience. Zoom fatigue becomes an even larger issue when it’s late, and you are ready to eat dinner and hang out with your family.

Time zones aren’t easy to keep up with, especially if your company is used to being centrally located. As your team expands and new employees are in different time zones, you have to be willing to make adjustments to the onboarding schedule to accommodate your new team members.

Once you get in the habit of building a remote team, adjusting to different time zones will become second nature.

Other Factors To Consider When Crafting An Onboarding Schedule:

  • Interaction: If your program needs a lot of audience interaction, you might be able to hold attention longer. If you are speaking at your audience the entire time, they may not be as receptive, and Zoom fatigue could set in fast.
  • Information: Think about it. Information overload is a real thing you should be concerned about. If you are teaching people about a lot of new concepts at once, you might want to add more breaks to compensate for that.
  • Investment: Some topics light people up. For example, if you are talking about marketing to a marketing employee, they are going to be interested. If you are talking about engineering to an engineer, they are going to be interested. If you mix up those topics and talk about marketing to an engineer and engineering to a marketer, you will get mixed results. Engineers and marketing professionals need to know how the other side works. Still, you have to be careful and provide a balanced experience for everyone so they can work in their zone of genius, even during onboarding week.

Conclusion: Prevent Virtual Onboarding Zoom Fatigue

Virtual onboarding doesn’t have to lead to Zoom fatigue. You can create a balanced schedule that understands the value of onboarding without impacting your new employees. Here’s the thing: onboarding is going to be challenging. There are a lot of new concepts, people, and experiences happening during this time. Does onboarding have to be overwhelming and soul-crushing, though? No, it doesn’t. Make sure you are creating a virtual onboarding experience that takes that experience seriously. Virtual onboarding isn’t the same as onboarding in-person. This is something you have to accept when crafting your virtual onboarding experience.