Trello co-founder Michael Pryor on new tools designed to curb 'meeting fatigue' and information overload in our new hybrid working reality

‘Zoom fatigue’ exists.
  • Trello co-founder Michael Pryor believes most companies will be working on a hybrid model of working from home and working remotely.
  • Trello and Confluence have released new features to help remote workers who may be suffering from meeting fatigue.
  • Trello launched a table view, while Confluence has an insights view which shows you how long it will take you to read a document.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

“Zoom fatigue” can happen.

As the coronavirus pandemic forced many employees to work from home, video conferencing calls started becoming the norm, and people flocked to platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet and Microsoft Teams.

But these meetings led to what was deemed “Zoom fatigue”, the exhaustion one feels after sitting through video calls. According to Harvard Business Review, the reason video calls are draining is partly because we have to focus much more to take in information.

Trello co-founder Michael Pryor told Business Insider Australia two key problems have emerged from using the communication tools – people are meeting all the time and, as a result, they’re being bombarded with information.

“You’d either be in meetings and have meeting fatigue or you’re just getting information overload,” he said.

Trello is a work management tool that was acquired by software giant Atlassian in 2017. Pryor said Atlassian wants to solve issues linked to this next phase of working, where people are relying heavily on work management tools.

He added that a lot of businesses are going to adopt a hybrid style of work, incorporating both working from the office and working from home.

“What’s going to happen is some businesses are going to go back to the way they were, some are going to stay remote, but most people are actually probably going to be in this more hybrid state,” Pryor said.

He added that working remotely can help us be more productive in some tasks, but other activities, like brainstorms, still benefit from face-to-face meetings, as does fostering wider work culture and trust among your team.

“There’s always going to be this flavour of human connection that you just can’t replace,” he said. “So I’m betting on the hybrid model as being here to stay.”

Trello and Confluence launch new features to support workers

New features have been launched on Trello and fellow Atlassian program Confluence to help address meeting fatigue and information overload. While Trello acts as essentially a digital substitute for a whiteboard or post-it note system, Confluence acts as a document sharing tool, akin to the likes of Google Docs.

Trello launched a beta of table view that pulls data from multiple boards into the same screen. From there you can filter by people or even due dates to get a better idea of the work happening across many different projects.

Trello Table View

Confluence, on the other hand, has four new features. There’s Page Insights, which gives you an estimated read time for documents and Bulk Content Management, where you can archive a bunch of articles at once.

Read time feature

Confluence also has a Smart Links feature where you view links – like a YouTube video – within the platform, and a Simultaneous Feedback feature where you can do real-time collaboration on documents during their edit phase.

Pryor added that as companies use these work collaboration tools, it’s important that they remember the three-part “triangle” of how to approach work. This includes communication, content and document collaboration, and work management, such as what tasks people need to do.

“That little triangle I think is important to remember as people are adopting these tools,” he said.

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