A worldwide pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other. Remote work and virtual meetings have become standard. With this change come some challenges. As we continue to navigate remote work, proper virtual etiquette is essential in managing meaningful and collaborative meetings for all participants.
Here are nine tips to help create positive and productive virtual meetings.
1. Be on time
Be respectful of other participants’ time and plan ahead. Make sure you are at your computer or phone a few minutes before the meeting starts. If you’re running late, let the host know.
2. Pay attention to mute
Background noise can be distracting to other participants. When you’re not talking, be sure to mute yourself and unmute yourself when it’s your turn to speak.
3. Use video when you can
Keeping your video on during a virtual meeting is beneficial for everyone. Seeing participants helps to cue others’ reactions and makes the meeting more engaging for everyone involved. To successfully build and maintain relationships between participants, your video feature, if available, should be used during virtual meetings.
4. Avoid multitasking
Resist the temptation to multitask. Information is better retained when you refrain from working on other tasks during the meeting. If you plan to take notes, announce it ahead of time so participants know why you may be looking away from your screen.
5. Limit distractions
Others can tell when you’re checking email or working on another project. Consider turning off your second monitor, text and app alerts, and avoid replying to emails during the meeting.
6. Make “eye contact”
To maintain connection throughout the meeting, eye contact is essential. Be sure to keep your webcam at eye level. Set your phone in a stable position to avoid shaking or falling. Look at the person you’re speaking to or the speaker.
7. Pause to allow others to speak
Taking time to pause when speaking allows others an opportunity to speak up and ask questions. It also helps with lag time and allows participants to catch up to what is being said.
8. Check your lighting ahead of time
Avoid being backlit by windows or other light sources that can make it difficult for others to see you.
9. Check your audio
If it is your first virtual meeting (or you haven’t done one in a while), check that your audio is working properly. The meeting will go much smoother if everyone can hear when participants are speaking.