It’s 2021 and online meetings have become the new normal. Whether because of COVID-19 regulations, the continued rise in remote work opportunities, or something else, more people than ever before are using software solutions to stay in touch with their teams.

This is a good thing! But because the medium is new to a lot of people, virtual meeting etiquette is often misunderstood, or worse, neglected. We aim to change that!

Keep reading to learn why virtual meeting etiquette is important and 10 tips you can use to make sure both you and your colleagues always remain professional during digital meets.

 

Download our free guide Online meeting etiquette – practical advice for a better experience

Why is Virtual Meeting Etiquette Important?

Virtual meeting etiquette ensures online meetings run smoothly. Without it, your online get-togethers will be unorganized and unproductive, attendees will have to shout over one another to be heard, and tempers will flare resulting in poor organizational culture.

On the contrary, when remote meeting etiquette is prioritized, you and your team will be able to accomplish work in a timely manner and all attendees will feel valued and respected.

Additionally, online meeting etiquette will make virtual gatherings feel more like the in-person ones they’re meant to replace. This can give remote employees a feeling of camaraderie and togetherness they might not otherwise feel with their coworkers.

10 Remote Meeting Etiquette Tips

How do you make sure your virtual meetings are productive and enjoyed by all attendees? You follow the 10 remote meeting etiquette tips below, which we’ve separated into three different categories: before your meeting, during your meeting, and after your meeting.

Let’s take a look…

Before Your Meeting

Proper video meeting etiquette starts well before your actual get-together. There are a few things that both meeting hosts and attendees should do prior to the meet:

  1. Create an Agenda

If you’re hosting the virtual meeting, create an agenda and send it to your team. This will ensure that your meetings stay productive and on-point. It will also give attendees the chance to get ready for the digital gathering and prepare any materials they may need.

The last thing you want to do is waste your team’s valuable time. By creating a meeting agenda, you’ll make sure that the 30 minutes to an hour you spend together are useful.

Speaking of wasting people’s time, only invite people to your online meetings that actually need to be there. There’s no point in asking Bob to attend a sales meeting if he works in customer service. Again, always respect your team’s time.

  1. Test Your Equipment

Next, test your equipment to make sure it’s working before you jump on a conference call with your colleagues. Nothing kills the vibe in a virtual meeting like technical issues.

What does this look like? If you’re meeting by phone, check your device and service. Do you have enough of a signal to join the call? If you’re meeting via video conference software like ClickMeeting, make sure you know how to login, that your webcam, microphone, and speakers are operational, and that you have a strong WiFi signal.

  1. Dress Appropriately

Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean you should wear pajamas during your online meetings. You are a professional, after all, and should dress like it—at least in front of your colleagues. Not doing so will suggest to your team that you don’t value their time.

In the same vein, make sure you brush your hair, wash your face, clean your teeth, etc. so that your appearance isn’t a distraction during your meeting.

Ask yourself this question before joining a conference call: would I feel comfortable walking into company headquarters looking like this? If the answer is “yes,” you’re probably good to go. If the answer is “no,” clean yourself up before you login to the meeting.

  1. Check Your Surroundings

Once you’ve made sure YOU look presentable, check your surroundings. Are there obnoxious posters on the wall behind you? Is there a pile of laundry on the floor that your colleagues will be able to see? If so, clean up your area to minimize distractions.

Additionally, assess your chosen meeting space for noise. You want to choose a spot that’s as quiet as possible, which means the local coffee shop is out. If you have a family at home, your living room and/or kitchen probably aren’t the best choices either.

Find a quiet, noise-free place to join your meeting from so that you and your teammates don’t have to shout at each other to be heard.

During Your Meeting

You’ve created a meeting agenda, tested your equipment, and made sure you and your surroundings are ready for a productive get-together with your team. Now what? Keep these virtual meeting etiquette tips in mind while you interact with your colleagues:

  1. Introduce Attendees

This etiquette tip falls squarely on the meeting host’s shoulders. Before you dive in and talk about specific projects, strategies, and other important business topics, take a minute or two to make sure that all attendees have been introduced to each other.

Why is this important? Because it’s difficult to work with a complete stranger. Once everybody knows the names and roles of the other people on the call, they’ll be able to communicate more effectively and your meeting will be more productive as a result.

When introductions have been made, remind all attendees why you asked them to meet and what you hope to accomplish by the end. That way everyone is on the same page.

  1. Pay Attention

You wouldn’t look at your phone or check email during an in-person meeting would you? Then why do so many people think it’s okay to do so during a virtual conference? It’s not.

Give the person speaking during your online gathering your full attention. Not only is this the respectful and professional thing to do, but it will also help you contribute in a real way. You can’t add anything meaningful to a conversation that you’re not really listening to.

If you must have something to do with your hands while you attend a meeting, take notes. In fact, offer to be the official notetaker for the meeting and help out your whole team.

  1. Don’t Interrupt Others

We shouldn’t have to say this, but we will: don’t interrupt your teammates—even if you have something super important to say. It’s just plain rude.

It also sets a dangerous precedent. If attendees are allowed to interrupt each other at any given moment, nobody will be able to speak freely. Worse, those who aren’t comfortable forcing their way into conversations won’t feel comfortable talking at all.

If you happen to be hosting the virtual meeting, enforce a strict no-interrupting policy. If you’re attending someone else’s meeting, wait to speak your mind until it’s your turn.

  1. Mute Your Mic

The only time you should unmute your microphone when attending a virtual meeting is when you’re speaking. Once someone else has the floor, so to speak, hit the mute button.

This will save your virtual get-together from echo noises caused by conflicting microphones. It will also help keep background noises from distracting your team.

You may have chosen a secluded spot in your home to attend your meeting from. But what if the neighbor’s dog starts barking? Or your toddler decides to throw a temper tantrum downstairs? All you have to do is hit mute and your teammates will never know.

Lastly, muting yourself will help discourage you from interrupting your colleagues. After all, you’ll have to click a button to make yourself heard, which will remind you to wait your turn.

After Your Meeting

Your meeting is about to end, but there are a couple more virtual meeting etiquette tips to abide by, which we’ll cover in this short section:

  1. Ask For Questions

Before you officially end your meeting and sign off, make sure to ask your team if they have any questions or concerns. Is everyone clear on their assignments? Does each person understand what the team is trying to achieve as a whole?

Nobody likes to feel confused. By asking your team for questions, you give them a chance to voice their concerns and get the answers they need to feel comfortable in their roles.

This tip also makes good business sense. If your team doesn’t understand what they’re supposed to do, they won’t be able to do it effectively, which will lower team productivity and morale. Make sure your employees know their tasks and profitability will rise.

  1. Follow-Up Post-Meeting

Last, but certainly not least, proper video meeting etiquette dictates that hosts follow-up after the meeting concludes. Take time to send meeting notes, individual assignments, and anything else you think is relevant to each video conference attendee.

That way everyone has, in writing, their marching orders and knows exactly what they’re supposed to work until you’re able to meet again.

ClickMeeting Simplifies Virtual Meeting Etiquette

Meeting software like ClickMeeting can make it much easier to implement and adhere to the virtual meeting etiquette tips listed above. This is one of the reasons why our solution is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Start your free 30-day trial of ClickMeeting today to…

Give Every Attendee a Voice

With ClickMeeting, up to 25 people can meet online simultaneously. More than that, each attendee can listen, talk, and otherwise engage with the other people on the call. This means that every person who attends has the chance to make their voice heard.

But don’t worry, meeting hosts still have control to run their meetings the way they want to. Hosts can assign presenters, run private chats, moderate discussions by blocking and unblocking selected attendees, and much more.

Engage Your Remote Attendees

The key to a successful meeting is attendee interaction—especially if you want your attendees to remain respectful and engaged the whole way through.

ClickMeeting includes multiple engagement features such as screen sharing, digital whiteboards, private and public chat options, and the ability to send polls and surveys. Each of these things helps to keep attendees focused and engaged with meeting content.

View Virtual Meeting Statistics

Finally, all ClickMeeting meetings include an analytics dashboard, which you can use to evaluate your virtual gatherings and improve them in the future.

How long did your last meeting last? And were you able to keep attendees engaged for the whole time or did their attention start to wane? Use ClickMeeting to answer these questions and then adjust future get-togethers accordingly so that your meets are more productive.

Improve Your Online Meeting Etiquette

Online meeting etiquette for attendees and hosts is essential. If you and your team can’t interact with each other in productive and respectful ways via video conferencing software, you’ll have a hard time moving your company forward in any meaningful way.

Fortunately, virtual meeting etiquette isn’t difficult. Simply follow the 10 tips listed above. Once you do, your digital gatherings will go much more smoothly—guaranteed.

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Posted by Jacob Thomas

Content writer @ ClickMeeting

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