Mental energy exertion during in-person meetings

For the next two days, I’ll be onsite with customers for multiple-hours long meetings. Today, I was onsite with a customer for 2.5 hours, and I felt completely, mentally drained after that. First, I was already feeling out of practice with getting ready for the meeting in the superficial sense- deciding what to wear, how to style my hair, etc. Then, while onsite, I realized, in real time, how much more exhausting it is to be in person in real life with customer meetings than to be on the same meeting via a Zoom call. There is something about being in person that feels so exhausting and draining now that it makes me wonder if going back to a regular cadence of in-person meetings is even feasible or enjoyable for me at this point in time. With the world opening up more and companies looking at the current time as an “endemic” rather than a “pandemic,” more in-person meetings will be expected. And well, it’s part of my actual job description — to meet customers and build relationships. But with three years working from home and having very limited in-person customer contact, I feel a bit out of it. It was fun in some ways to be onsite again and have that type of interaction, as having in-person interactions is obviously a lot more real and stimulating, but I can’t help but admit it was just tiring. I passed out pretty quickly this evening and will likely do the same after tomorrow’s all-afternoon long meeting, as well.

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