Are You Back-to-Back-to Back? Avoid the Hybrid Burnout

career advancement career advice career alignment career burnout hybrid workplace team building zoom fatigue Oct 14, 2021
Two business people at a desk on a zoom meeting

I was in the middle of writing a blog six months ago predicting an upward trend in the demand for team building. I paused to do a bit of research to back up my prediction. And then, like the movie Jumanji or more recently Free Guy, where Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds finds himself trapped in a video game, I myself became temporarily trapped inside my own prediction.

For the last two quarters, I’ve been hyper-focused on helping leaders keep up with the demand to get their teams re-connected and engaged as we move into what, for most companies, will be a hybrid workplace model. And, like many of you have been experiencing, it’s been back-to-back-to-back… to-back.

Fun, energizing, rewarding, but a lot.


Which is the next theme I’m predicting – a hybrid kind of burnout!

I was recently part of a virtual trade delegation of Nova Scotia businesses to the United States. It was well organized and included many opportunities to speak one-on-one with other senior level professionals from different sectors and geographical areas. Amid the discussions about shared business opportunities, however, ran a theme of this impending burnout amid professionals who have taken the convenience of fitting ‘more’ in because there is no needed downtime in between virtual meetings. Therefore you can book more and, theoretically, get more done.  


Any of this sound familiar?


“I don’t know how I got this busy. It’s non-stop.”

“I love my work, but there’s no space in between meetings to breathe.”

“I’m not sure when, but I started booking Zoom calls straight through my lunch.”

“I know I need to get out of this new habit of back-to-back, but I can’t seem to stop!”

“Why hasn’t Zoom created a better filter for bad hair days?”


We’ve forgotten it isn’t natural to sit and speak to a computer screen all day every day.  Even if we like the people we are speaking with through the screen! And whether you are working from your home office or at your company’s,  the new hybrid model means that often you can still book back-to-back as others choose to work virtually.


To be at your best you need to have a balance. Pace yourself and schedule your recovery time.


  • Schedule some non-Zoom blocks of time
  • Use the phone. You don’t always have to see the person.
  • Don’t be afraid to end the meeting when you’ve reached the intended outcome. You don’t need to hang around for the full hour just because you’ve booked the magical 60 minutes. We’re more efficient virtually.

 To your career success,

Karen Kelloway, BPR PCC
Your Career Story Editor


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