There was a time when we worked in offices thought that the coronavirus pandemic will finally mean an end to office meetings.
Office meetings continue despite social distancing, thanks to video conference tools like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and some others.
And let us face it: sometimes, talking face-to-face is essential, even if that means face-to-screen. So now with video conferencing or online meetings, various people have found that there are guidelines or rules to follow – things that we may not require to discuss in person, but they have much importance now since so many people are working from the comfort of their houses and discomfort, depending on your setup.
Working from house is hard. So here are some rules of zoom meetings etiquette compiled from pros, which will help you stay productive, connected, and not-embarrassed as much as possible while we struggle through this new era of office work.
Zoom Etiquette Rules from the Pros:
Turn up early! Getting on time as essential as if you have to factor in journey time. Even if that journey is now a matter of seconds. You can set a reminder for the calls as it is simple to lose track of time and find you have missed the deadline.
Make your talking points, write an agenda, and set yourself an objective for the meeting. Get virtual meetings as important as if you are meeting face to face.
Turn the video off before you start the call. Lovely as it’s to see your face, the video takes up many bandwidths, so can make your connection unstable. Talking to a blank screen is disconcerting so do ask the other person if they will rather turn off their screen too. Obviously, if your connection is strong and the video is working well then go for it being capable of seeing each other’s face is an essential part of communication during these stressful times.
Use the mute button when you join a call and when others are talking. It is human nature to make supportive noises, but it can interrupt the speaker’s flow.
Place your hand up if you need to speak. Zoom has a facility to do this you will find it tucked away under Participants.
You can use the immediate messaging feature which lets you ask questions and comment on something while the other person is speaking. This means you aren’t interrupting and can return to the comment later.
And the joy of joys, Zoom has a Touchup My Appearance feature. Honestly, Zoom, you want to make this feature front and center for all of us who have turned feral and are enjoying not having to do full make-up as well as hair daily. Go to Settings or Video or Touchup.
Share your screen: if you are talking about a document and a design, share your screen and you can collaborate closely and talk through what you are reading and looking at. Love this feature and it is so much better than being in a meeting and not having the document in front of you.
Watch what is going on in the background: Do not be the guy with Homes under the Hammer on pause as well as a half-empty bottle of red wine.
Obviously, we are all in the same boat at the moment so let us understand that kids of all ages cannot be expected to understand why their house is now a place of work and their parents have a change ego they do not see.
Stage your video area: Keep in mind, people are not seeing you, they are seeing whatever the camera is pointed at behind you. Perhaps arrange it so that your camera is not facing a pile of unfolded laundry?
More light is better: The video quality is dramatically improved with further lighting. And do not you need everyone to see your beautiful face, now that you have gone to all of the trouble to put on real clothes and stuff? A more nearby lamp is helpful. Be sure the light is in front of you, not behind you being backlit makes you hard to see.
Look into the camera: If you are speaking to a group, looking into the cam will give eye contact with whomever you talk to.
Do not eat during the meeting: It may be a small gross to watch other people eat sometimes. And listen to the chewing, for that matter. Hold off if you can, and if not, perhaps turn off the video or audio.
Don’t do any private things during a meeting: Have you heard stories about people being caught while picking their nose or using the bathroom while on a video conference, thinking that they were muted and had their video off? Do not become a statistic. It is simple to forget that people can hear or see you if you are in a group of 30 coworkers, so do not risk it.
Do your own tech support before you start: be sure you do a test run at a few points, and that you are aware of your audio and video settings before you begin. Some video services let you see a test of what your cam is recording before you broadcast it to everybody else, so have this arranged the way you want. Zoom, for example, has a feature that allows you to test your settings before your meetings start: go to zoom.us/test. You can decide to come with audio muted before you accidentally broadcast whatever is on the TV, and speaking of sound.
Stay on mute if you aren’t talking: Background noise may be distracting. If you’re not sharing anything at the moment, go ahead and hit mute unless you do. That way, no one has to listen to the car alarm that goes off in your neighborhood and the perpetually barking dog of your neighbor.
Thank you for reading: Zoom Etiquette Rules from the Pros.
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