Learn about wellbeing & mental health resources and opportunities available to support you.
This page was updated on May 7, 2020.
Working well: virtual meetings
Virtual meetings can sometimes be more fatiguing than face to face meetings as we work harder to process non-verbal cues, tone of voice, and body language, while being cognizant of our own communication and learning new technologies.
In light of an increased need for screen time in our professional and personal lives, the following tips and strategies may help restore some balance – whether you attend or organize meetings.
If you attend virtual meetings, consider these actions:
- Review the Visual Ergonomics Guide to help you maintain your eye health during this period of increased screen time.
- Review how you can Ergo Your Posture. Attend a 15 minute zoom Ergo Your Posture session every Wednesday at 10am.
- Constant eye contact with others in virtual meetings leads to fatigue. Find a resting point for your gaze and focus on what is being said and shared. When possible, turn off your video feed, and stand up, and stretch
- Take five minutes before or after your meeting to:
- Block off time in your calendar, such as lunch hour, to protect some working hours from virtual meeting invites.
- Practice self-compassion: while working remotely you may be experiencing an integration of your work and personal life, while missing an in-person connection with colleagues.
- Avoid multitasking during meetings as this takes additional mental resources, contributing to fatigue and eye strain. Minimize distractions by turning off notifications on your phone and other devices.
If you organize or lead virtual meetings, consider these actions:
- As with in-person meetings, consider if the virtual meeting is necessary or if another medium (e.g. email, instant messaging) may work better. Use teleconference/phone calls when possible, for example 1:1 check-ins and quick updates.
- Consider the meeting purpose. Set and send an agenda in advance. This will help you stay organized and determine a need for a meeting.
- Allow for space between meetings by scheduling shorter meetings and avoiding back-to-back meetings for attendees.
- Be mindful of when you are booking meetings, such as Friday afternoons or lunch hour, as well as scheduling meetings that fall outside of your team’s core work hours.
- Open meetings with a check-in, an activity, or a quick movement break. During longer video meetings, quick movement breaks are encouraged. UBC Recreation can join meetings to lead a short movement break. Otherwise, consider walking meetings.
Mental health supports and resources
There are a number of mental health resources available at the university:
- Building Mental Health: tools and resources for managers, heads, and deans
- Helping a colleague in distress
- UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) plan members and their dependents can contact Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765
- UBC extended health benefits
- UBC mental health supports
If you are a staff or faculty member working closely with students, visit this mental health resource.
A number of community mental health resources include:
- Vancouver’s Access and Assessment Centre, 604-675-3700
- Kelowna Mental Health Services
- Crisis Centre B.C., 1-800-784-2433
- Indigenous Mental Health Counselling and Crisis Intervention, 1-855-242-3310
- HealthLinkBC, 811
See https://covid19.ubc.ca/ for university wide updates.