A qualified Chartered Accountant, Surabhi Goel brings with her 18 years of experience across finance, project management, operations, budgeting, branding & marketing. She has worked at large multinational organisations such as Arthur Andersen and ICICI Bank. During her yearlong teaching stint at an MBA college, she realised that she was passionate about the education sector. Her keen interest in the field of education then drove her to work with Zee Learn, where she set up their first international school in Mumbai. Currently, she is the CEO at Aditya Birla World Academy, The Aditya Birla Integrated School and Aditya Birla Education Academy, ventures of the Aditya Birla Education Trust.
Online fatigue is real especially for the teaching community as they were otherwise not used to such extended hours of screen time. From checking homework to correction of assignments, the entire gamut of their work has moved online. Here are 10 simple tips to deal with virtual fatigue.
1. Relook at the timetable –
Schools should consider introducing initiatives such as a four-and-a-half-day week. Giving the teachers and the students a half-day respite from the screen can help them clear their mind and help focus better.
2. Reconsider at the daily schedule – Schools should include a short ten-minute break after every 2 periods, instead of one long break to avoid exhaustion and diminish the impact of strain.
3. Address mental health concerns – School leaders should support teachers who may be facing mental health issues due to excessive screen time by connecting them to therapists.
4. Create a proper home office – The table height, distance from the screen, adequate lighting, and an ergonomic chair are some of the prerequisites for a comfortable experience for long hours of online teaching.
5. Create a beginning and end ritual – This means one should shut down the laptop instead of keeping it closed. Taking a cut off from work every day is important to avoid overstimulation.
6. Recreation activities should not include the screen – Virtual fatigue comes as a result of chaotic scheduling, therefore it is important to focus on yourself by engaging in activities such as listening to soothing music rather than watching OTT content, or reading a book or practicing some form of physical exercise. This will help dodge the feeling of being overwhelmed by the exposure of screen time and help recalibrate.
7. Follow the 20-20-20 rule – Teachers should look away 20 feet for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes to give eyes a screen break.
8. Do simple stretches every hour – A simple side to side movement of the neck, rotating the wrists and legs and simply standing up would help with blood circulation.
9. Conference Calls – Team meetings could be conducted on conference calls. While one may not be able to see each other, this could help give a timely break from screen time.
10 . Keep water at a distance – This way the teachers would be compelled get up from their seat time & again and stretch their body to avoid cramps.
Remember that we are working out of home. It should not become living out of office! Spend your time wisely and focus on your mental and physical health.