Many people who typically come into the office to work on a daily basis are now tasked with working from home due to COVID-19. Many people aren’t used to working from home for what is expected to be a few weeks to a few months. But, it’s time to accept that this is a new reality – at least for the immediate short-term. Your face-to-face work team, who you’re used to seeing every day, is now your virtual team, thanks to video conferencing meetings.
Whether you use Zoom, WebEx or another virtual meeting tool, when you work remotely with a team, communication becomes critically important, checking in with members of your team is the main method of making sure the group stays on task and production doesn’t slow.
Learning video conferencing etiquette will help the quality of your virtual meetings go more smoothly – from how to introduce yourself in a video conference, to how to communicate with other virtual team members and other best practices.
Effective Video Conferencing Best Practices
Working at home can be very effective when done correctly. Remember, video conferencing meetings only go as well as the worst member of the group, so encourage your team to be cognizant of the etiquette that comes with remote meetings.
Related: See this Resource on How to Run Effective Meetings
Having an effective video conference means three things:
- paying attention
- limiting distractions
- clear communication
The atmosphere of a physical office is designed with these intentions – but a home or apartment is not always designed for that – not nearly to the level of an office building. To account for that, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind, regarding video conferencing meeting etiquette and best practices.
Video Conferencing Meetings Do’s and Don’ts for Virtual Meeting Etiquette
As a participant of a video conferencing meeting, here are some virtual meeting etiquette tips and best practices to keep in mind before and during the meeting:
Do’s of Video Conferencing:
- Do ensure you can use conferencing technology before-hand
- Do introduce yourself when asked to
- Do frame the camera correctly
- Do mute yourself when you’re not speaking
- Do wear work-appropriate clothing
- Do keep your camera on for the whole meeting
- Do speak clearly
- Do look into the camera
- Do have good lighting in the room
- Do consider your background
Do Mute Yourself When You’re Not Speaking
Muting yourself is critical for having successful meetings. Limiting the noise from all lines will help the meeting go a lot smoother – whether it’s typing to take notes, or your family and kids making noise in the background, muting the noise will be helpful.
Do Introduce Yourself When Asked To
For meet and greet meetings, the organizer of the meeting will likely set-up time at the beginning of the meeting for quick introductions. In terms of how to introduce yourself in a video conference when many attendees may not know who you are, state your name and position or job title. There’s no need to over-explain who you are to others.
Ensure Video Conferencing Technology Works Before-Hand
It’s encouraged for online meeting attendees to try signing in a few minutes early to account for issues and hold-ups with technology. If you’ve never used a specific video conferencing platform, account for some technical hurdles involved like downloading
Do Wear Work-Appropriate Clothing
Just because you’re working from home, that doesn’t mean you should look presentable – after all, it is still work! Know your office dress code, and apply that to working from home.
Do Keep Your Camera On for the Whole Meeting
If everyone has their camera on, you should too. Having the camera on will help to see facial expressions and keeps your video conferencing meeting almost as effective as an in-person meeting.
Do Speak Clearly
Speaking clearly will help with the effectiveness of the video conference. Speak clearly and slowly to make sure people can understand the points you’d like to get across during your video conference meeting.
Do Look Into The Camera
When it comes to speaking and listening, seeing faces can help with the level of communication during meetings.
Do Have the Right Lighting
When you have an area to work from in your home, consider the lighting of that area. Too much or too little lighting can be distracting and interferes with communication.
Do Frame the Camera Correctly
Nobody wants the look at your chin for an hour! Push your laptop or computer screen back so everyone can squarely see your face at the right angle. If it’s still at a low angle, prop up your camera so it meets your eye-line (or close to it).
Do Consider Your Background
be sure not to have anything too distracting for others on the video conference. Again, your background can be a distraction, so keep wall art, and other home items to a minimum.
Don’ts of Video Conferencing:
- Don’t be late signing into the meeting
- Don’t shout
- Don’t interrupt or speak over people
- Don’t make drastic hand or body movements
- Don’t try to multi-task other work tasks
Don’t Try to Multitask
During the meeting, you may be tempted to multitask to get other work done during your meeting. Do keep this to a minimum.
Don’t Be Late Signing Into The Meeting
While it’s rude to keep people waiting, things happen sometimes. Regardless of the reason, if you do happen to be running late, try to let the meeting organizer know you’ll be late. If you’re waiting for a person, adhere to the 5-minute rule: after 5 minutes, you can either cancel or start the meeting without that person.
When it comes to video conferencing, shouting into the computer microphone won’t get your point across any better. To keep things going during your meeting, it’s not a great idea to shout – no matter how excited or angry you are.
Don’t Interrupt or Speak Over People
This is something you shouldn’t do regardless of the meeting type, but with video conference meetings, it can be twice as bad.
Don’t Make Drastic Hand or Body Movements
Quick hand or body movements can be a distraction to others. Whether you’re speaking or listening,
Tips From a Work-From-Home Expert:
Tips on working from home, by Nate Fishman, an SEO Consultant in Boston, MA
“When you’re used to the routine of commuting to your office every day, it can be a big adjustment to work from home, especially for a long period of time. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, we have no choice but to adjust. I have been remote working for nearly 2 years now, and there are a few things, in particular, that helped me. First, dress like you’re going to work – even if you don’t have any video conference meetings. When you dress up, you start your day on a more serious note. Second, set up a designated area in your home or apartment that you feel completely comfortable working from, away from distractions. Finally, invest in a quality pair of headphones (with a mic)! If you’re like me, and music helps you work, quality headphones can help hone in on what you need to do. Headphones with a mic can help when it comes to phone calls and video conference meetings as well“.
Organizing & Running a Video Conference Meeting
If you are organizing a remote meeting using a video conferencing platform, you’ll want to consider using a meeting notes software like yoyomeeting (learn more about how yoyomeeting works) to help you organize your meeting and prep your team. Here are some tips on how to organize business meetings for hosted via video conference platforms:
- Set a detailed agenda: better inform meeting participants about the agenda topics
- Better team preparation: give participants enough background information to be able to prepare for your meeting
- Actionable items & decisions: since commitment might be lower when you don’t see each other, make sure to not just talk about topics, but make decisions and assign tasks
- Use time productively: focus your group in discussions to not run out of time
- Take great meeting notes: To recall for everyone, write helpful and well-structured meeting notes and share them with your team
- Assign tasks to individuals: assign tasks individually (best as individual emails) since you do not see whether your meeting participants take notes themselves (and not everyone might be as committed in your meeting as you are yourself)
Yoyomeeting Helps You Run Video Meetings
Sounds like a lot of hassle? Using meeting management software like yoyomeeting can help you organize and run your upcoming virtual meeting. With yoyomeeting, you can:
- prepare for meetings
- write meeting agendas
- take meeting notes
- organize meetings
- set goals for the topics
- focus discussions
- assign meeting action items
- record decisions
- distribute all meeting results on one click
- and in times like these, the rating of your meeting can help your team to reflect and get better every time.
And the best part is installation is very easy since yoyomeeting is available as an add-in for Microsoft Outlook. Everyone in your team can download yoyomeeting easily from the Microsoft Store.
Try it Free for 2 Weeks
Learn more about using yoyomeeting as your meeting management software. Our meeting management helps with every phase of your virtual business meetings, including meeting planning, meeting recording and meeting recaps. Get your free 2-week trial today and get started scheduling and documenting virtual meetings easier.