There’s a high chance you’re wearing sweatpants for meetings. Do you panic when it’s your turn to speak or when your manager asks you to turn on your camera?
Zoom meetings require you to prepare, focus and follow common courtesy, so meetings run smoothly. We know it’s hard with all the distractions in your house. That’s why we bring you a guide to virtual meeting etiquette so you can get the most out of your virtual meetings.
Why do you need ground rules for virtual meetings?
Virtual meetings are here to stay. 57% of employees in the US prefer virtual meetings over in-person meetings. Even if employees return to the office, they’ll interact in zoom meetings with hybrid employees.
Virtual meeting étiquettes save you and your teammates the trouble of saying, ‘you’re on mute’ or ‘please don’t cut me several times in a meeting.
At Nunify, employees don’t have the same problem as we all abide by virtual meeting etiquette like
- Everybody takes turns to talk
- Nobody speaks over another person
- It’s a personal choice to turn on our camera
Everybody maintains professionalism which makes our meetings smooth and fruitful. You, too, can follow ground rules for virtual meetings for hassle-free virtual meetings.
Below are the reasons why your need virtual meeting etiquette:
1. To portray a professional image
Even though dressing casually has become a norm in the hybrid work environment, being professional doesn’t take a back seat. And it has nothing to do with wearing ties or heels to work. Being professional means creating a work environment where productivity increases and fruitful conversations occur. Just like you do in an office meeting, it’s crucial to be professional during a virtual one.
2. To reduce disturbances
Imagine being disturbed by car honks, barking dogs, or a yelling spouse during an office meeting. It would be offset for the entire office. It does the same during virtual meetings. Virtual meeting etiquettes include sitting in a quiet environment or muting yourself whenever you hear a noise, so others don’t get disturbed by them.
3. For the smooth running of the meeting
Employees with no virtual meeting etiquettes tend to speak over others, show up in messy backgrounds and divert from the agenda with unnecessary conversations. Such atrocities stretch the meetings and waste everyone’s time. Virtual meeting etiquettes help you stay focused on the agenda so the meeting runs smoothly and you wrap it up in time.
Following the ground rules for virtual meetings benefits both you and your colleagues. They help you conduct smoother virtual meetings, team-building exercises, or virtual events so you can enjoy the benefits of working from home without hampering professional interactions.
ground rules for virtual meetings
At Nunify, we practice zoom etiquette within the company and with our clients. Below are the virtual meeting etiquettes that we use. Try these so you can achieve the same result within your company.
1. Ask for the agenda
Confirm the meeting agenda before joining. Learn if the meeting is organized to catch up on past events or plan future strategies. Your preparation and responses depend on the meeting agenda. You don’t want to stay speechless when your manager asks about a topic that you are unaware of. Joining a meeting without an agenda would waste the first few minutes on clarifying why everyone’s there. It’s better to take the initiative to find the agenda for the meeting to save your and everybody else’s time.
2. Come prepared
The whole point of learning the meeting agenda is to give you enough time to prepare for it. Once you find the meeting topic, spend 10 minutes brainstorming and getting your facts right before the meeting. If it’s a catch-up meeting, be ready with your work reports, so you don’t forget important points at the last minute. Early preparation helps you stay confident in virtual meetings or networking events.
3. Inform your family members about the meeting
We’ve seen enough zoom meeting mishaps during Covid. Someone’s partner walking in front of the camera or a dog jumping on screen were all very funny to see when it happens to someone else. But in reality, it’s embarrassing to have your spouse or parents shout during a zoom meeting. It opens the door for personal jokes which stick with you for a long time. It’s better to announce beforehand that you’re about to join a meeting, so everybody stays quiet during the call or leaves you alone for the time being.
4. Keep your background clear for the meeting.
If you can’t clean your mess, hide it. A huge pile of clothes or food delivery cartons lying around doesn’t make a good impression. And a clean background also prevents you from the embarrassment of your staff watching your private stuff. For last-minute meetings, use the custom or blurred background feature on Zoom
5. Cut down distractions
Clear distractions to focus on the meeting. Close unnecessary tabs on your computer. Put your mobile on silent mode. If anything distracts you in the background, like a TV or a window, change your location to stay focused on the meeting.
6. Log in early
When it comes to working, it’s better to be a little early than late. Joining a call early also gives you a chance to interact with your colleagues. It’s important as the hybrid work module lacks basic human interaction. Moreover, when you join mid-conversation, it’s hard to find the pulse of the topic, and you stay lost for the first few minutes.
7. To mute or not to mute
“You’re on mute”, maybe the most common phrase spoken in zoom meetings. We all mute our mic when other people talk – another virtual meeting etiquette – but sometimes we forget to turn it on. Even worse, you may keep your mic open and say something that was not meant for everyone to hear. Imagine the embarrassment.
Mute yourself when:
- it’s a meeting with a large number of attendees, and it’s someone else’s turn to talk
- you’ve asked a question and are waiting for an answer
- you hear a noise in the background
Avoid muting when:
- a dialogue is going on between you and a colleague
- someone’s asking you a question
8. Let others talk
Speaking over someone is considered rude whether you’re in-office or remote. Moreover, in virtual meetings, it’s hard to determine who’s about to speak. It’s better to let other people talk first unless you have something very important to say.
9. Avoid doing other work.
Remote meetings offer enough liberty to do other work while attending a meeting. When the meeting stretches for a long time, you’re tempted to check a text or watch a reel, but it’s inappropriate. Virtual meeting etiquettes suggest you should focus on meetings like you would if you were in the office.
Hybrid meeting etiquette – Do’s and don’ts
1. Log in from separate devices
It may be easier to chat from a single computer, but the whole situation becomes messy. If there isn’t enough space to be on camera together, it’s best to log in from your separate devices. If you must use a single monitor for the whole team, make sure people show up on the screen, as the entire purpose of a video meeting is to simulate an experience of being together.
2. Avoid ignoring remote employees.
Work buddies sometimes start chatting during meetings without providing context to remote employees. It makes them feel ignored. Whenever you crack a joke or give a reference, include remote employees, so they feel comfortable.
3. Share the discussion happening in the office.
If there’s a discussion in the office about changes in the work culture or new policies, include remote employees in them. Ask for their input as they’re a part of the company, even if they’re working remotely.
Checklist for disturbance-free virtual meetings
- Prepare before the meeting
- Tell your family that you’re in a meeting
- Clean your background
- Turn on the camera
- Wait for your turn to speak
- Mute if there’s a noise on your side
Get more out of virtual meetings with virtual meeting etiquette.
Virtual meeting etiquette infuse casual meetings with professionalism. Follow them for a better meeting culture, so nobody considers meetings a burden. After learning virtual meeting etiquette, you ace all virtual events with confidence. Use Nunify to conduct virtual meetings or events without any stress. Sign up today to unlock the potential of hybrid events and virtual meetings.