As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, virtual meetings have become an essential part of how modern businesses maintain productivity and continuity. To have meetings wherever you do not mean there aren’t basic guidelines you should follow. Here is some meetings etiquette everyone should observe:
1. Join Early
Make sure your microphone and camera are working properly and join before everyone else to check on the settings of the meeting platform. Tip – wear a good quality headphone and keep a notepad handy to take notes (try not to take notes on your laptop/computer).
2. Use a Wi-fi Network
Try to connect using a stable wi-fi connection for a better experience and meeting connectivity. Don’t use a smartphone for connecting into meetings, use a laptop or computer.
3. Leave The Keyboard Alone
The sound of typing is distracting, whether you’re taking notes or doing something else. It’s not only distracting everyone else in the meeting, it’s also preventing you from devoting your full attention to the meeting.
4. Dress appropriately
Being at home and doing long calls/meetings gives you the freedom to wear anything to work, but it makes you less professional and also prevents you from devoting your full attention to the meeting/work. Before starting your day full of meetings, take time to do your morning routine – take a shower, make your tea/coffee, throw on a clean t-shirt and brush your hair.
5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Make sure your background is tidy professional and work-appropriate. Your coworker won’t take you seriously when you are sitting in a dirty environment between piles of files and notes.
Tips to make your work environment suitable for virtual meetings:
- Make sure you have appropriate lighting
- Sit in a separate room, away from human civilization
- Make sure your webcam is at eye level
- Clean up your work desk before the meeting
- Try to not sit near your bed
- Tell your family members to not disturb you while you’re working
- Look fresh while attending the meeting
6. Mute your microphone when you’re not talking
Avoid noisy distractions while others are speaking. Unless you’re living alone your house is pretty noisy these days. No one likes hearing weird noises from conflicting microphones. Muting your microphone when you are not speaking gives other people to express their ideas and thoughts without distractions.
7. Stay Seated and Stay Present
Sit up straight, don’t make big extraneous movements, and always give your attention. It may be very tempting to check your mail inbox, chat with friends, go to the washroom and bring snacks during a boring moment in a meeting. It makes you miss out on important and key information in a meeting. Be an active participant in a meeting, take notes, and ask questions.
8. Minimise Distractions
Avoid Rustling papers, eating, or making other distractions noises in the background. Turn off your audio and video when not required.
9. Plan for an Effective Wrap-up:
End with a quick recap providing decisions made and actions agreed on. Share your thoughts and ask people what they learned. End the meeting when it’s in an interesting phase so that people will come again to the meeting and not feel bored.