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5 Meeting Etiquette Tips for a Zoom World

Oct 8th, 2021

Remember way back before the pandemic changed everything when we all used to gather in meeting rooms to discuss the issues of the day? If it seems like a distant memory you’re not alone.  And if you’re feeling like those days are probably gone forever, well you’re probably right.

The research tells us that post COVID (we won’t try to define what “post” COVID actually means) over 90% of those who worked remotely during the pandemic expect to continue working remotely at least 1 day a week.  And 80% are expected to work from home at least 3 days a week.  It seems that the future has spoken, and the hybrid office is here to stay.

Since those Zoom and Teams meetings aren’t going away anytime soon, here are a couple observations gleaned from personal experience over the past 18 months about how behave on remote video calls.

  1. The Basics: Turn your camera on (usually) and your microphone off (usually)–
    • Not turning your camera on makes one wonder if you’re actually there and/or truly engaged. Don’t leave that to chance. Comb your hair and turn on the camera.  And unless you’re speaking, turn off the microphone.  It can help prevent echo and will save us from having to listen to your barking dog and ringing phone.
  2. Limit the food intake –
    • Zoom calls are not the time to chow down on your left-over tacos from last night’s dinner. Unless this is a lunch and learn or some other meal-oriented meeting, save your meal-time for when you are off camera.  If you absolutely must break this rule, do us all a favor and turn off your microphone and camera.
  3. At least look like you are paying attention
    • Don’t get up and leave the room or walk out of frame when the UPS guy shows up at your front door or when a co-worker walks into your office. If you need to step away briefly, just turn off your camera for a moment.
  4. Use a headset
    • Do it so we can hear you more clearly. Do it so anyone around you doesn’t have to listen to your call.  Do it to keep conversations private.  Just do it.
  5. When you’re sharing your screen remember that you’re sharing your screen
    • If the meeting pauses for a break and you’re sharing your screen be sure to turn it off before checking your e-mail. We know you’re busy but do you want everyone to know how many fantasy football messages are in your inbox?

And of course, all the other good manners that your mom taught you apply.  Be on time, be nice, get stuff done.

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