Market Dealer | Virtual Meeting Etiquette: Tips for the New Normal
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Virtual Meeting Etiquette: Tips for the New Normal

Virtual Meeting Etiquette: Tips for the New Normal

As many employees made a rapid transition to full-time remote working in recent months, virtual meetings have become an essential part of how businesses maintain productivity and continuity. Virtual meeting etiquette is a whole new ball game compared to conventional in-person meetings.

To help you keep your meetings productive and professional, follow these six simple MDH Digital virtual meeting etiquette rules and pro tips!

Dress Appropriately

One of the magical things about working remotely is the freedom to wear anything to work. It’s the dream, right? However, the best part of keeping your routine of getting dressed and ready as if you are going into the office while working remotely is that you put yourself in the right headspace to be productive.

Besides, there is no reason to show your co-workers your PJs and bedhead during a virtual meeting.

Be Aware of your Surroundings

The advantage of virtual meetings is the ability to hold them almost anywhere; the disadvantage of virtual meetings is also the ability to hold them almost anywhere. Being taken seriously is hard when there is a pile of dirty clothes in the corner behind you or a cat sitting on your lap. You also wouldn’t want to look like you work from the inside of a cave because of bad lighting.

Ideally, you’ll be set up in a room by yourself with sufficient lighting, where you can close the door with no distractions in the background. If this isn’t possible, adjust your work setup so that you face a window or are exposed to plenty of light. And make sure your background is professional and work appropriate.

When you have a planned virtual meeting communicating with roommates, spouses, children and even pets that you’ll be participating in a work virtual meeting and ask them to keep the noise level (and barks) as well as foot traffic down to a minimum.

Leave the Keyboard Alone

Good virtual meeting etiquette means resisting the temptation to check your email inbox, social media or sneakily chat with your work bestie. Even if you’re diligently taking notes like a model employee, the sound of your typing is distracting.

It’s not only distracting everyone else in the meeting – because your laptop’s internal microphone is inches away from your keyboard – it’s preventing you from devoting your full attention to the meeting.

Pro Tip: Opt for a quality headset or pick up your notebook and pen to take meeting notes instead.

Use the Mute Button

There’s nothing more madding than hearing an alien echo from conflicting microphones. During your virtual meeting, especially if there are numerous people on a call when you’re not talking mute your microphone. This allows people to talk without hearing background noises.

Pro Tip: By muting your microphone it allows for the signal to prevent lag…. and… people… sounding… like… robots!

Speak Up

It can be awkward to hear the “someone-just-joined” ding followed by silence. When you hop on the meeting, announce that you have joined – just make sure not to interrupt someone mid-sentence.

It is also important to speak clearer and slower than usual. You wouldn’t want to do a William Shakespeare monologue and have no one understand you in the end! Keep in mind that there is often a short delay when you talk, so pause after asking a question or listening to someone’s response.

Don’t Play Musical Chairs

When you join a video virtual meeting on your mobile phone, try to avoid walking around as shuffling around your house. Trying to step over children’s toys and then falling over will detract from the topic being discussed. Find a place to sit, grab the tissue box (if you must) and place your mobile phone in a stable position.

Pro Tip: Your colleagues can see you, the use of attentive body language is important: sit up straight, don’t make big extraneous movements and don’t let your eyes wander too much.

This is a new situation for everyone, and most people have had more virtual meetings in the last eight weeks than they would ever have had in this year. In 2020, with the use of virtual meetings, Finance Online found that businesses could cut travel costs by 30%.  When it comes to marketing, 92% of B2B marketers use virtual meetings in their core marketing tasks.

Although virtual meetings seem straightforward, taking them as seriously and thoughtfully as physical, in-person meetings, you can use them to further build a positive personal brand.

You will be known as someone who’s digitally savvy, current and professional. These are qualities your clients and colleagues will value whether meeting you virtually or face-to-face!