Virtual Meeting Etiquette

When state lockdowns became a reality, virtual meetings reinvented what it looked like to “go to work.” The adjustment took many by surprise, especially for those not regularly reliant on technology. TrustRadius says that there was a 500% increase in activity of web and video conferencing services since the initial pandemic outbreak. 

Some of the most popular Video Conferencing Software include:

While these platforms come with their own plethora of instructions and regulations, it is also important to acknowledge what is and isn’t socially acceptable over video. We’ve all heard of the awkward situations brought on by transitioning to a completely remote workforce. By taking the time to learn and follow basic virtual meeting etiquette, you can help your teammates:

  • Save time
  • Stay focused
  • Be more productive

Before the Meeting

  1. Test Beforehand

To foster a strong virtual work environment, it is important to ensure you can see and listen to everyone effectively. In fact, Lifetime states that 90% of workers say video makes it easier to get their point across. 

Leave yourself about 10 minutes in advance to ensure your WiFi is working properly and if necessary, relocate to somewhere you know it will function optimally. Test that your microphone and camera are working and settle on a professional looking background. 

2. Dress Appropriately

One of the many benefits employees enjoy about remote work is the freedom to dress more comfortably. While sweatpants may be the new work casual, be mindful to avoid any video meeting wardrobe mishaps.

While you can certainly level-down the work attire at home, still show up in a presentable and professional manner.

3. Turn Off Notifications

At the start of the meeting, ensure your Slack, email, and other notifications are silenced. It can not only distract you from the meeting, but it can also disturb the speaker and other participating members. 

During the Meeting

  1. Don’t Multitask

You may be an expert multitasker, however, you should still resist the urge to check messages or do other work while in a meeting. Just like face-to-face meetings, it can be a sign of disrespect to drift attention away from the speaker.

Additionally, it means you won’t be completely focused on either, and ultimately productivity will suffer. Losing your place in the meeting will affect your ability to collaborate, which is a disadvantage to all.

Encourage Questions
It may take a little more effort to create a collaborative environment over video conferencing. Periodically, pause and check in with the audience to ensure everyone is following along and paying attention. 

It’s important to explicitly solicit questions or feedback from the group, since it can be hard to interject otherwise. Additionally, you can encourage team members to utilize Virtual tools like hand icons and chat boxes. 

After the Meeting

  1. Close Your Browser

The easiest and safest way to ensure you have left the meeting is to close the web browser you were using the platform on. No one wants to get caught saying or doing anything falsely under the impression the meeting is over. Even if everyone else has already left, the meeting may be automatically recorded.

2. Send Necessary Follow-Ups

As needed, send each participant important notes, actions, reminders, or deadlines to take away from the meeting. This can eliminate any confusion or downtime in initiating next steps.

If an important member of the meeting was missing, ensure they receive a recording of the meeting or bring them up to speed with a quick one-on-one.

Basic online meeting etiquette can go a long way. As an employee, it is your obligation to follow these practices in order to continue enjoying the flexibility that comes with remote work. Equally, it is an employer’s responsibility to maintain a positive virtual working culture and mediate any arising issues. Happy Virtual Working!