Zoom Room Etiquette
Easy Ways to Make Your Meeting a Success
With the sudden changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to find our way in a world suddenly gone digital. That includes everything from new ways to make our jobs function remote, to learning how to hold meetings again. While, most of us have become experts at online platforms like Zoom Room, sometimes through trial and error, it never hurts to brush up on our online meeting etiquette especially now that it seems the majority of us have settled into our new online norms.
Below are some easy ways to make sure that you maintain a professional and courteous atmosphere while in a zoom room, even if you’re sitting in shorts and a t-shirt in your kitchen.
- Mute yourself: while it’s appropriate to introduce yourself and enjoy a quick conversation before the meeting, once business starts mute yourself whenever you’re not actively speaking, it helps cut down on background noise and allows the presenter to focus on speaking.
- Consider using headphones or external microphone: while most laptops have built-in microphones, the quality may not be the greatest and they tend to pick up a lot more background noise than the directed mics of headphones and external setups. Just like it’s important to be understood in face-to-face meetings, online meetings require clear messages too!
- “Mute your background”: just like it’s important to make sure you’re not being distracting audibly, it’s important not to be distracting visually, make sure your background is clear of clutter or any personal spaces in your house (showing your bed can be slightly off-putting to some, and unprofessional to others). And don’t be afraid to not show your screen if for any reason you can’t free the background of distractions.
- Conversation etiquette: just like when having conversations offline, having them online requires even more of sometimes what may seem like added formalities, but ending thoughts with “I’m done” or “that’s all” can make it much easier for others to know when to start adding on. This goes for wanting to interject, raising your hand and allowing the conversation leader to choose can also go a long way in avoiding too many people trying to talk at once.
- Be engaged: no one likes to be ignored in face-to-face meetings, and sometimes being online lulls us into a false sense of safety. Don’t let yourself check your phone or mess with things off screen, just as that would be rude in a conference room it’s impolite in a chat room.
- Be understanding: while we all can (and should) try our best to make sure distractions don’t occur, there is bound to be the curious dog or two, and kids asking questions or demanding attention. Don’t be afraid to say “can you give me a brief minute?”, and if you’re on the other end be understanding, this is new territory for all of us so slip ups are bound to occur!
Hopefully, these tips have been a nice refresher, or a nice learning experience for you as you continue to navigate our new online workspace!