Three Ways “Reverse Meetings” Can Fight Zoom Fatigue

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


At this point, we can all agree that Zoom fatigue is real, but computer science professor Cal Newport has a surprisingly simple suggestion to fight it, as reported by Jessica Stillman in

Even with the pandemic seeming to wane, it’s unlikely we’ll go back to working as we did before. For some roles, remote work, at least part of the time, appears here to stay. So how do you manage it without frying your brain with endless video calls? Reverse meetings!

The idea of reverse meetings is that instead of sending one another endless Zoom invites, we all adopt virtual office hours and pop in for quick conversations as needed. Newport offers three points to explain what this would look like:

  1. Everyone maintains regular office hours, setting times each week during which they're always available via videoconference, chat and phone. During these times, you can digitally stop by and chat without a prior appointment.
  2. If you have a topic you want to discuss with a group of colleagues, instead of gathering them all together in a new meeting, you instead visit each of them one-by-one during their office hours to talk it through.
  3. In many cases, these one-on-one conversations should be sufficient for you to reach a resolution on the issue or, at the very least, reduce it to a targeted set of questions that can be much more efficiently addressed.