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Top 10 etiquette guidelines for virtual meetings

In this era of video conferences, avoid major meeting faux pas and remember to practice etiquette for virtual meetings at all times.

online meetings

Virtual meetings have become a staple in our work-life balance as the world continues to be in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. Suddenly they are now our only means of communicating with the people from work and our social groups.

Despite having these meetings in the comfort of our homes, we still have to retain some elements of doing business in a professional setting. Avoid major meeting faux pas and remember to practice these etiquette guidelines for virtual meetings at all times:

Dress appropriately

While you may not have to worry about getting late anymore from taking too long picking up what to wear, you should still maintain a professional posture. Get rid of the bed head and wear something that you would on an actual meeting, at least from the waist up. Doing this will put you in the right headspace because you’re dressed for success.

Have a suitable background

Be mindful of your surroundings to make your physical backdrop free of distractions. Things that shouldn’t be in your camera’s view like bed, personal clutter, NSFW items, and dirty clothes among others should be kept away. Test the lighting and choose a neutral location.

Mute yourself when you’re not talking

With almost everyone at home, background noise is more prominent so just mute your microphone when you’re not talking. You will also spare the people in your meeting other unwanted sounds like echoes, rustling papers, yelling passersby from outside, etc. 

Don’t eat

It is distracting to others when they see you nibble on something or hear you crunch stuff in your mouth. Not only that; you will also be worried about foodstuff falling on your keyboard. Try to eat before your meeting.

Minimize distractions and stay present

Be respectful to the organizer and everyone in the meeting by staying engaged and attentive. Reduce potential distractions like phones, open browser tabs, side chats, and unnecessary interruptions. Sit up straight and keep your eyes on the screen.

Take control of the information you share

Make sure only the intended content for the meeting is shared on-screen during the video conference. Exit all other file explorer and browser windows as well as apps you used prior. When searching on Google, stop sharing screens to avoid showing potentially embarrassing auto-complete search results.

Test your tools beforehand

It is inconvenient for everyone involved to have to wait while you fix technical issues from your end that you could have checked before the meeting started. Check your camera, microphone, screen-sharing tools, internet connection, and other technologies to be used before joining.

Hands off the keyboard

It is best not to be on your keyboard since others may see that you’re not giving them your complete attention and may find it distracting. Better use pen and paper when taking notes to avoid possibly disturbing other participants with the clickety-clack sounds from your keyboard and to retain information better.

Turn off your camera when internet speed lags

Insisting on turning your camera on when your internet speed is slow may not only make suffer from interrupted connection to the video conference, it might inconvenience the other participants too because it takes up a lot of bandwidth and may cause others’ internet speed to lag unnecessarily as well.

Be graceful

Allow some grace for any miscommunications that might occur due to interrupted internet, commotions in the house, or other physical and verbal cues that can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

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