The Hub 5 ways to practise virtual meeting etiquette
Professional Development with PowerED

5 ways to practise virtual meeting etiquette

Remote work has become the new norm for some organizations, but that doesn’t mean virtual meeting etiquette should be dismissed

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the rise in digital transformation, some organizations have shifted to allow their employees to work from home or in a hybrid setting. 

Understanding how to be as professional online as you would in a physical office space will help you to be viewed as a respected and credible colleague.

Why is virtual etiquette important?

The lines between our work and personal lives have started to merge as remote work has become more prevalent for some organizations. 

Children walking into your home office, phones ringing, dogs barking—each of those things are examples of how the lines between work and home can get blurred. Having patience and empathy for the human on the other side of your screen is essential.  

However, the most important thing to consider is that you always portray professionalism and ensure your appearance on screen is appropriate for the situation.

mother sitting at a table in living room, work from home with family in the background

Check out these 5 virtual etiquette techniques to consider the next time you join an online meeting.

1. Test your computer setup

It’s always important to test your speakers and microphone before an online meeting to ensure everything is working properly. There is nothing more distracting than having a computer issue during an important presentation. Make sure your internet connection is working and that all your settings are correctly configured.  

2. Choose the right technology

There are various platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet that facilitate online meetings. Ensure your technology is updated and properly configured to ensure your call will go as seamlessly as possible. Video calls often use a lot of bandwidth, so hard-wiring into the internet with an ethernet cable can allow for a more consistent connection.  

Photo of young woman sitting at the desk, looking at the laptop and smiling

3. Pick a suitable background

Always set up your computer so that what’s visible behind you isn’t distracting. Choose a solid-coloured wall or another simple decoration. It’s also crucial that you make sure that there isn’t anything inappropriate in your background. If your background isn’t as professional as you’d like, many meeting platforms also allow participants to choose a neutral or blurred background.

woman studying online working on laptop computer at home office workspace

4. Dress appropriately

Working from home does not mean that you can stay in your pajamas all day. Dressing appropriately for your industry or organizational culture is important when making an impression.

over the shoulder of a person gesturing while discussing something with colleague during a video conference.

5. Stay engaged

Constantly touching your face or adjusting your clothes is distracting in any situation but can be particularly disrupting in an online environment. If watching yourself during a meeting is a distraction, consider hiding your incoming video. Your colleagues will still be able to see you, and you’ll be able to keep your attention focused. Maintain eye contact with your webcam and try to remain engaged in the conversation. If you have to step away, turn off your camera and microphone, to avoid being too distracting.

To learn more about leadership and digital wellness, check out the PowerED™ by Athabasca University website.

Filed Under:
  • July 6, 2022