Wellbeing at Simon-Kucher: Liz & Mollie Talk Zoom Fatigue

Feeling exhausted despite just sitting at your desk all day? Then you might have video call fatigue. We interviewed bestselling authors Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy to learn more about this phenomenon and how to tackle it. Here are their useful tips!

Can you tell us about your book, No Hard Feelings? What motivated you to write the book, and what kind of workplace challenges does it address?

We were both in our 20s and figuring out how to be successful at work. We both felt that there was no room for emotions at work, and that we needed to be 100% professional. But we were still humans, of course, and so we still had emotions at work. We started talking about this experience together and decided we wanted to write a book about it. Liz is an illustrator and Mollie loved collaborating with her since Liz’s illustrations do a great job of visualizing things that are difficult to verbalize. The book, No Hard Feelings, aims to make it OK to acknowledge emotion at work. Emotions can serve as valuable guideposts and we should not want to turn our emotions off.

The book takes an affectionate but deeply researched look at how emotions profoundly affect key aspects of our professional lives and gives readers a framework for better understanding and embracing emotions at work. Each chapter focuses on how emotions impact a different part of work: from teams to health to communication to motivation. At its core, No Hard Feelings argues that if employers and employees can become comfortable communicating emotions and acknowledging the emotions of others, we can all be more authentic, productive and fulfilled in the workplace.

Tell us a little bit about the work you have been doing with Simon-Kucher…

Simon-Kucher reached out to us looking for a guest speaker for their internal CEO townhall meeting and asked us to provide some useful information and tips on Zoom Fatigue. We had written an article about Zoom fatigue for Harvard Business Review. Some of your colleagues had read and liked the article because it provided actionable tips. So, we created a short training on “How to fight Zoom fatigue” to present at the town hall. Then we asked all employees to send follow-up questions that we would answer in two more videos: “Staying mentally healthy in a remote world” and “How to run good zoom meetings.”

What are your impressions of Simon-Kucher as a workplace so far? What have you learned about our corporate culture?

When we joined the CEO townhall meeting we were very happy to see that your CEOs were vulnerable about how hard being on Zoom has been for them. This is unusual for leaders to share. We also appreciate the “Quickcards” especially the one on videocall fatigue, which your HR team created. It is so nice to see an organization share norms and explicitly make it okay to take a nap, meditate, turn off your camera when you need to, switch to phone calls, etc. We were surprised that such a large global consulting firm was so focused on employee health, and was so… human!

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