January 28, 2022

A complete guide to virtual meeting etiquette

A complete guide to virtual meeting etiqqutte  

Do you ever go to a board room without any preparation? So is your zoom room!

Yes, not kidding! Virtual meetings have to be scheduled and taken seriously, just like in-person meetings. If you don't follow virtual meeting etiquette, then you are wasting your teammate's time. And doing this shows that you don't respect your peers.

In short, the golden rule of virtual meeting etiquette is to make sure that it's productive and useful.

And every participant must notice that 30% of the employee's time spent in meetings is considered unproductive, So it is essential to follow virtual meeting etiquette to make meetings effective.

So how do you make a virtual meeting more effective?

Here are ten tips that you must follow in every virtual meeting

1. Have a plan:

 Before scheduling the meeting, make sure you send the agenda to all attendees. This must answer the purpose of the forum and what you and your team want to accomplish. It has to cover the meeting work plan or the agenda consisting of what to discuss.

2.Use a neutral background:

 No one likes a distracting shabby background. You can choose a grey or white-colored wall which doesn't cover any view of people from the video. If this isn't feasible, you can use some tools like Zoom and pick a virtual background you could use.

Very importantly, make sure that your background does not distract other attendees.

Must read: Virtual team building Icebreaker activities    

3.Join on time or even early:

 This indicates to your teammates that you are responsible. And when the whole team plans to stay on time and stick to the time, the trust and credibility among teammates increases. This can be a good step towards employee engagement.  

4. Dress up: 

Take a few minutes to wear a clean tee-shirt and adjust your hair. The best part of getting ready for an online meeting or work from home is creating that environment around you to stay focused without any distractions.

5. Be ready and prepare your set up:

 Imagine how much can go wrong when you share the wrong screen. So before the meeting, make sure you prepare your setup. Make sure you keep everything ready and handy before the meeting. Also, close the unnecessary tabs before the meeting and keep your arrangement prepared for the online meeting.

6. Keep a check on mute :

We all experience it every time. Either you speak so much and then realize you are on mute or forget to mute after speaking. And you will land in a situation where a song from our TV might disturb the whole meeting during a critical discussion.

Forgetting to mute can sometimes put you in an embarrassing situation in front of your teammates. Sometimes you might automatically join with audio, so it is better to enable the mute by default option.

7. Stay present and focused: 

It is too common for people to switch to other apps and get distracted during online meetings when they stretch too long. It is the host's job to keep the meeting well planned. Also, each participant's job to make sure you pay attention and stay focused during the entire session. You can make the meeting interactive and even ask questions to keep things rolling.

8. Breaks For Lengthy Meetings: 

If the meeting is supposed to belong, make sure to have appropriate breaks and fun to keep the session alive. You can take the lead and have some funny conversations with your peers, or everyone can take a small break from the zoom screen and come back with a fresh mind to continue the discussion. You can also play some quick online games or virtual team building activities to keep up the excitement.

9. Have a wrap-up session: 

After sharing many ideas and discussing many things, it is necessary to ensure that every attendee keeps track of everything discussed in the meeting. So it is better if you or one of your teammates can take responsibility and note all the objectives and ideas discussed and mail it to everyone post-meeting.

10. End it on time: 

Meetings must end on time according to the planned schedule. At Least once, most of you reading this have felt, "can you finish the meeting before my brain melts down!

Things to avoid during a virtual meeting at any cost 

1. Stop Multitasking :

Multitasking is a useful skill, but as you know, it's not the same in every situation. It is essential to understand when and when not to indulge in multitasking.

Meetings require everyone to be focused and attentive. You must address that everyone's time should be utilized and valued in meetings. And in a virtual meeting, distractions are very easy, so it is everyone's responsibility to provide the best suggestions, ideas, and opinions in the discussions and make the meeting effective. Make sure not to indulge in other tasks that are not relevant to the meetings.

2. Avoid Speaking Right Away :

As we are working from home, there will be a lag between the conversation during online meetings. But good communication is key to the success of your virtual meeting. Keep that in mind, and wait a second before speaking. This can clear a lot of confusion. For instance, if no one speaks, you are good to go. Else wait until the other person ends talking. Always consider that it's happening online, and not everyone's internet connection will be stable. And it might be very annoying for another person, or he might simply lose the flow of his talk due to the interruptions.  

3. No hello to any notification:  

Be it mobile or pc, turn off all notifications before you go to any meeting. Stay present in the meeting. It may be tempting to check your inbox or carry on a side conversation during a dull moment in a meeting, but don't do it! You might miss out on crucial information or an opportunity to give input. Or it can land you in a weird situation when you are sharing your screen, and suddenly a notification pops up, and everybody's attention shifts towards that.

4. Say No to distractions:  

Set up space for yourself during meetings. Always make a habit of attending a meeting in a separate room and lock the door. Make it clear for the family members to stay quiet and create a minimum commotion. All these small adjustments are necessary to make our online meetings more effective.

5. No one-way traffic and awkward silences: 

Ever wondered why you were in some meetings where you didn't know what you were supposed to do? It quickly kills employee engagement!

Suppose you are a team leader hosting the meeting. In that case, you can assign everyone with some meeting responsibilities or ask them to present ideas on particular things and discuss how everyone can contribute to the meeting goals with their views before scheduling a meeting. This will make your online meeting very productive and keep everyone alert and engaged.

If you are an attendee, avoid awkward silences in meetings by following virtual meeting etiquette. For instance, immediately greeting your team after joining the Zoom meeting than staying silent.    

Though office zoom meetings are getting flexible to help employees feel better in this crisis but based on the meeting's seriousness, you must follow virtual meeting etiquette and optimize according to your convenience. In short, there are no hard and fast rules; you can tailor your team can tailor this etiquette. The team has to respect each other's time and effort to make it more productive and not land in embarrassing situations.  



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