Online Meeting Etiquette Rules

Global pandemic brings a new norm in our life. We need to adapt ourselves to a new culture and embrace technology to increase the quality of life.
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Educational institutions and businesses have already started their operations by continuing their communication and engagement with students, colleagues, customers, and clients through online meetings. There is the sheer necessity to adapt ourselves to the new norms and being more productive. We need to have mutual guidelines to run the prosperous operations during our online meeting, like when we were studying in class or we had meetings in the office.

Remote work has become a new principle. Companies have rolled out remote work policies for their employees to ensure they don’t get left behind. An unprecedented number of employees are working from their homes and companies have already started seeing its benefits. Employees are taking advantage of working from home so much that they say remote work culture could easily replace the corporate work culture. As we see, remote work culture is being conducted in a virtual society. This includes: job interviews, client meetings, and video conferencing as well.

As the home and workplace are beginning to merge into one, the boundaries between our personal and professional lives have also started to mix up. Needless to say, during an online meeting, multiple awkward situations are bound to occur. So like each cultural norm, we need to consider the significance of the etiquettes during our remote work.

By following basic meeting etiquettes, you help your colleagues and company in:

  • Saving more time
  • Becoming productive
  • Completing Agendas of Meetings on time
  • Being more focused when meetings happen

So here, we present you with some important online meeting etiquette rules to ensure high productivity and professional remote work culture.

Confirm Time Zones

With virtual meetings, you also need to be clear about the time zone when you’re scheduling. Don’t just assume new contacts are in your time zone. You need to verify the exact time with the special online tool for the Time zone to reduce time conflict.

Minimize distractions

You will need to define your workspace for others. Let your roommate and/or family know when you’re online and ask to not be disturbed. If you have a door, let others know that whenever it’s closed, you should not be disturbed. Silence your smartphone and computer notifications. Close all unnecessary computer applications, particularly before screen sharing. Turn off the TV, any music, and move your pets to another room. All these preparations will help your attendees feel respected and valued. It may be tempting to multitask during an online meeting, but “be present”. You’ll remember the discussion better if you refrain from texting or replying to emails during the meeting. Stay on task and be focused to ensure a productive meeting.

Don’t multitask.

According to a study by InterCall, 65 percent of people do unrelated work, 60 percent read or send emails, and 43 percent admit to checking social media. All of these are no-nos. Give the virtual meeting your full attention. It’s more productive and more respectful.

Make eye contact

During your video calls, your screen probably has the presentation open, a window to type comments, and multiple video screens with your colleagues’ faces on them. When it’s your turn to speak, remember to look into your camera, not at the multiple distractions on your computer screen. It takes a while to grasp this, but it looks more natural and connects to people much more effectively.

Poor Audio Quality

No matter what format your meeting takes (voice, video or web), a poor audio connection can kill productivity. A bad connection or static on the line that forces participants to disconnect and reconnect wastes time and disrupts the meeting flow. So when choosing a conferencing platform, it’s important to select a partner that can guarantee quality regardless of the location or device your meeting participants are joining from.

Clean up the voice quality before it enters the managed network and then optimize transport to decrease latency. It is necessary to keep your area quiet and not interrupted by children’s noise (if possible).

Keep everyone engaged

You can still keep your audience engaged virtually. For example, you could assign everyone a job and ask questions. You could also make it more interactive by using real-time polling, or have attendees solve a problem in groups. In addition, if someone was not part of the process, he/she can catch up quickly and keep him/herself on track.

Also, it would be recommended to leave some time at the end of meetings for casual conversation. As long as you’ve gone through your agenda, working in isolation isn’t the best idea. So, this gives invitees some much-needed social interaction.

Different countries, different customs

Video conferencing helps to make decisions faster and to build trust between colleagues and partners. In international video meetings, however, participants should be aware of and take into account the cultural characteristics of different cultures. It is also easy to forget that the partners may work in different time zones. Be patient in regards to varying accents, because remote work may increase misunderstandings more easily. Also, you need to follow international etiquette and be more respectful since remote work can create more opportunities in the business flow.

Ghazal Fadai

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