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Better Zooming: Ten Tips for Avoiding Holiday Stress and Isolation with Better Use of Zoom

Posted by Dan Feerst, MSW, LISW-CP on

You can find more tip sheets on workplace wellness at

With the holidays just around the corner, millions of people are turning to Zoom video conferencing to relieve their feelings of stress and isolation. The reason? Zoom calls are a fantastic way to keep in touch with family and friends, especially if you know how to make the most of the service. 

To ensure that each call is as organized, memorable, and enjoyable as possible, it's essential to learn about the great features Zoom has to offer. With these ten simple tips, every holiday Zoom call is sure to be a success:

1. Learn the Shortcuts

Knowing some keyboard shortcuts will help keep your Zoom calls efficient and stress-free. This includes muting the whole group at once, recording a meeting, switching cameras, starting or stopping videos, etc. A full list of these shortcuts can be found in Zoom's settings menu. 

2. Create a Waiting Room

By enabling Zoom's Waiting Room feature, you can see who's trying to join your Zoom meeting before allowing or denying them access. This is ideal for stopping strangers from crashing your Zoom call. You can find this feature by clicking on account management, then account settings, meeting, and then waiting room.

3. Activate Gallery View

Gallery view, which you can find in the top right corner of the screen, will allow you to see everyone in the meeting at the same time (rather than just the person speaking). Warning, if you have a particularly big family, everyone's screens may have to be displayed on multiple pages.

4. Hide Audio-Only Participants

If you like gallery view but find it a bit too crowded, go into settings, video, and then meetings. Under meetings, click to hide non-video participants. This will remove the blank screens that pop up in gallery view from callers using audio-only.

5. Decide on a Host

Having multiple people trying to set up Zoom calls and lead conversations at once can get chaotic. That's why it's best to have a host for each call. This person can be in charge of settings, setting up games/movies, and even offering up conversation prompts here and there.

6. Use Zoom's Beauty Filter

Zoom has a really convenient Touch Up My Appearance feature in the My Video section under Video Settings. This subtle filter makes everyone look well-rested with smoother skin. What's not to love about that?

7. Set a Time Limit

To get the most of your Zoom call, it's helpful to set a loose time limit on each session. Deciding how many times a week and how long each call should be will make it easier to schedule calls with family members. It also gives everyone something set in stone to look forward to throughout the week.

8. Share Your Screen

By clicking the share screen icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, you can share your entire screen or select pages/apps with everyone else on the Zoom call. This is a great way to watch holiday movies together! 

9. Play Some Games

Unsure how to get the laughter and conversation started on your call? There are plenty of games that can be played via Zoom, including charades, 20 questions, and games you can purchase like the Jackbox Party Pack.

10. Record Each Session

Since you're not able to see your loved ones in person, making home videos together isn't a possibility. However, an alternative to this is recording your family Zoom session and uploading it to Google Drive or Dropbox. These saved sessions are ideal for sharing with family members who may have missed the call, as well as those who'd like to reminisce on good memories. 

Share these tips with your friends and family so that everyone can enjoy Zoom's best features. These tips should also help start conversations about the scheduling, hosting, and all the other organizational aspects of holiday Zoom calls. 

Want more training and education for employees, and the ability to reach family members as well. Visit our workplace wellness page containing program for education and awareness available in DVD, Video, PowerPoint, and Web courses you own and control.

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