Few industries are immune to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and virtual meetings have become an important aspect of how modern firms maintain productivity and continuity. They’re a simple, low-cost solution to coordinate many offices, keep remote staff motivated, and collaborate with clients and vendors.
Even if virtual meetings have been a part of your regular work routine for some time, it’s still possible to make a huge meeting blunder. As many people are discovering this week, virtual meeting etiquette is completely another ballgame than in-person meeting etiquette.
To make your online meetings more effective and enjoyable for all participants, follow these meeting etiquette rules.
Keep your hands off the keyboard
The sound of your typing is distracting, whether you’re taking meticulous notes like a model employee or secretly conversing with your coworker. Because your laptop’s internal microphone is inches away from your keyboard, it not only distracts everyone else in the meeting but also prevents you from giving the meeting your entire focus. Invest in good headphones or use your notebook and pen to jot down conference notes.
Working from home has its perks, one of which is the ability to wear anything you want to work. Still, there’s no reason to flaunt your PJs and bedhead in front of your coworkers. (Unless it’s a joke the whole team agrees on, in which case we endorse).
Put on a clean shirt and brush your hair for a few minutes. The nicest part about getting ready while working remotely is that it puts you in the correct frame of mind to be productive.
Pay attention to your surroundings
When there’s a pile of dirty clothes in the corner behind you, your coworkers won’t be able to hear you or take you seriously. You also don’t want to appear as if you’re working from the interior of a cave due to poor illumination.
Make sure you’re working in front of a window or in an area with enough light. Also, make certain that your background is professional and fit for the job! This translates to:
- In the background, there are no beds (made or unmade).
- There will be no cluttered rooms or exposed closets where everyone can see their belongings.
- There will be no NSFW artwork.
While children and pets are adorable (and a welcome distraction while you’re stressed), your coworkers will not appreciate having to talk over a crying child or barking dog so be aware of the noise.
Effective communication is essential
When you’re ready to start the meeting, say:
- Take a minute to conduct an audio check once all attendees have arrived. A quick round of introductions is a good way to get started. The purpose of introductions is to break the ice and guarantee that everyone can hear each other clearly.
- If you intend to record the meeting, make sure everyone is aware of this at the start.
- Connection, you might need to turn off video to improve audio reliability.
If you’re in charge of organizing a meeting
Send a meeting request with an agenda to all attendees prior to the call, outlining the objective of the call, who will be there, and any expectations for what needs to be accomplished during the session. You can choose from a number of different meeting agenda templates.
- If you want meeting participants to read documents before the meeting, give them to them ahead of time and make it clear what you want.
- If you need decisions taken during the meeting, let attendees know ahead of time so they can prepare.
- Use a calendar integration to schedule your meeting to avoid human error. This guarantees that your attendees receive the relevant dial-in information and meeting link.
We already know that the human brain isn’t built to multitask. In fact, when you’re doing two things at once, all you’re actually doing is ping-ponging between the two, which might cost you up to 40% of your productivity.
Virtual meetings are a new reality for many firms these days, whether COVID-19 pushed your company to do business remotely or you’ve always desired to migrate to a more virtual atmosphere.
This method of doing business can be incredibly efficient, cost-effective, and successful if everyone knows virtual meeting etiquette.
To learn more about MGS Insurance and our services, please click this link: MGS Insurance Services.