The Dos and Don’ts of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

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If you have to give a glimpse into your home, make sure it’s a good glimpse.

Even before they became a pandemic-induced necessity, I can’t say I was especially fond of remote meetings. I mean, no one’s especially fond of meetings in general, but there’s something somewhat nerve-wracking about being on camera in a room where you’re usually by yourself. Just like with an in-person meeting, though, there’s rules of conduct you need to follow in order to make your best impressions. It ain’t fun, but you know what’s less fun? Getting the evil eye from your supervisor.

First, keep things clean, and I’m referring to both your room and your person. If your bed is in the shot, make it. If a table’s in the shot, clear it off. Do you have any potentially unsafe for work art or posters on your wall? Move ’em. I agree, that Animal House poster is funny, but it’s also unprofessional. As for you, present yourself as though you’re going into the office. Wear a nice shirt and nice pants, even if they can’t see your lower body. Comb your hair, wash your face, shave, and all that jazz. Even if it’s only for an hour, you need to put in the extra effort to make a good impression.

Now, as for the call itself, you need to try to keep your mind from wandering. Sit up straight, look right into the camera, and speak clearly. If it’s not your turn to talk, mute your microphone; no one needs to hear every miscellaneous noise in your home. Try not to type on your keyboard when your mic is open, as the sound can be really distracting. Don’t eat snacks or chew gum while the meeting is going on, though a glass of water is fine. Finally, no matter how boring it may get, don’t lose your energy midway through the meeting. Stay seated and pay attention the whole way through.

It’s a pain in the butt to put that much effort into a comparatively small slice of your day, but them’s the breaks. As soon as the call is over, though, feel free to muss up your hair, throw on some sweatpants, and let out a loud burp. You’ve earned it.

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2 years ago