Updated Feb 12th, 2021 by Nicolas Zenker
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings have boomed in popularity among companies and organizations across the globe. Amidst the pandemic, people worldwide are currently spending more than 5.5 billion minutes attending remote meetings.
Virtual meetings have become a way of life for many professionals, and with new social customs come novel forms of social etiquette. Virtual meeting etiquette is defined as the unwritten formal manners and rules that are followed in online social and professional settings. Many of them are still being established as we get used to virtual meetings, but there are some generally accepted customs that people should abide by when participating in virtual gatherings.
To explain virtual etiquette further, we will be looking at a few pointers you should abide by to be seen as a respected and professional individual during remote meetings.
One of the most important tips before joining a virtual meeting is making sure that your equipment is working properly. Nobody wants to be that person on the call with a choppy signal, incoherent audio and a frozen screen. Check that your internet connection is stable and that your laptop is charged or plugged in. Moreover, ensuring that your audio and video are working smoothly by dialing in a few minutes beforehand goes a long way. Video call servers such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet now allow their participants to check their computer camera and microphone functions before they ‘step into’ the call. It’s a simple tip that goes a long way.
Virtual or not, being late is one of the biggest etiquette mistakes you can make. Same as how you wouldn’t dare to wander into an office conference room 20 minutes after a meeting began, you should prioritize being prompt to virtual meetings.
One way to keep track of all your remote engagements while on the go is through having a mobile digital calendar application that gives customized meeting reminders. This is particularly helpful as we become more reliant on mobile applications to manage our schedules. A post on starting an app business by ZenBusiness notes that 75% of the world’s population has at least one mobile phone and 90% of mobile time is spent on mobile apps. Nicolas Zenker cites a study in Australia that showed how more than 70% of adults use digital calendars to keep track of their lives daily.
So, marrying mobile phone usage and reliance to digital calendars is key to avoiding this virtual etiquette mistake. Having a reliable calendar mobile application programmed to send you appointment reminders to virtual calls ensures that you will never be late to remote meetings throughout your busy day.
Working from home means that you can do your work in comfortable clothing you wouldn’t normally wear to the office. Although there is a temptation to join a virtual team meeting in sweats and a hoodie, John Rampton an Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP says that you should dress as you would for an in-person meeting if you’re on camera. Virtual etiquette dictates that you should strive to remain presentable for video calls through dressing appropriately, especially if the call involves managers and senior colleagues.
The same virtual etiquette goes for backgrounds—try to keep it as clean and professional as possible. If you’re on a call with family and friends, you have more liberty in exposing the messy corners of your bedroom on-screen. However if you’re taking work calls, Small Business Chron advises keeping your backdrop clean and professional looking. It would be best if you were sitting on a work desk instead of lounging on the bed or on a couch. Also make sure that you have enough good lighting so you’re clearly visible to everyone on the call.
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Written exclusively for AppointmentThing.com by Amaya Caleb