We’ve all spent so much of 2020 trying to stay in touch with people while we can’t be in the same physical space. For many of us, that has led to a lot of ‘Zoom fatigue’. 

In my role at SCVO, lots of folk ask for tips on how to make it all a bit less tiring. There are a few things you can do to improve sound quality, boost interaction and so on. Check out our top suggestions in our How To Guide. But there’s an even simpler solution. If you’re experiencing Zoom fatigue, do less Zooming. 

Obviously there’s no real alternative to video meetings if you’re working with a group of folk, especially with travel restrictions and winter weather looming. But a fair proportion of our meetings are just 1-to-1s, either quick catch-ups or a more in-depth review. 

So enter the ‘walkie-talkie’. Or if you prefer a less techy name, ‘a chat on the phone’. You each head outside for a walk and chat on the phone together. My experience has been this can make for more engaged and reflective chats. (I’m not pretending that ‘just chatting on the phone’ is a novel idea – it just seems to have faded away a bit in the era of the Zoombie Apocalypse). 

It’s so simple, there’s no real technical advice. But you might want to remember to: 

  • Keep out of windy and noisy places, so you can both hear each other.
  • Don’t be shy about calling out bad sound if you can’t hear the other person.
  • If you’re in Scotland in December, you’ll want to wrap up warm :-). Earbuds mean you can keep your hands in your pockets, too.
  • Walkie Talkies can be meandering and creative in a pleasant way. But take a moment at the end to recap. It’s easy to forget what you talked about when you head back inside and chomp into a mince pie.