With many employees working out-of-office, video conferencing has become the norm these days. Low-cost applications like Microsoft Teams have made it easier than ever to stay in touch with teammates and clients wherever you are. However, having the technology is only one part of what makes a virtual meeting successful. The other part is etiquette. These are the unspoken rules no one really talks about, but what is expected from everyone attending the meeting.
No matter how many times you’ve done it before, it’s always a good idea to remind yourself of the dos and don’ts of a virtual meeting. Consider these etiquette tips before and during your next video conferencing call, to ensure you put your best foot forward.
Preparation is key
Typically, video conferencing requires four things: a laptop/desktop computer, headsets, a stable internet connection, and an application. It’s important to check that you have everything you need at hand and that they are in working order. If you’ll be using a video conferencing app for the first time, familiarise yourself with all the features. Working remotely means that you need to be available and connected all the time. Unfortunately, many workers will have to get along with outdated, unreliable technology and software. If you need an upgrade, Nashua’s remote working solutions offer you the required tools (laptop, Office 365 with Microsoft Teams, conference headsets, conference speaker phones, battery backups, and UPS devices, among others) in one convenient package.
One of the fun things about working from home is that you can do it in your pyjamas and no one will care. However, if you’re jumping on a video call, always look neat and presentable. Try to clothe yourself in your company’s standard dress code or anything that is comfortable and respectable (nothing too tight or revealing). You can get away with a decent jeans and T-shirt ensemble for staff meetings but when talking to clients, smart casual attire is recommended.
Be on time
Check your calendar to confirm the time of the meeting and that it hasn’t been moved to an earlier slot. Make sure you know where to find the link to the meeting so you can be punctual. Regardless of what time the meeting starts, you should join at least one minute before kickoff. If you’re going to be absent or late, for whatever reason, notify via email the person who leads the meeting beforehand. Sometimes conference calls are delayed because everyone is waiting a few more minutes for someone to join.
Create a distraction-free space
Whether it’s your bedroom, dining room, or home office, choose a space that is quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. To avoid interruptions, switch off your phone, TV, and radio, lock up your pets, close your door, ask your family not to disturb you and to remain as silent as possible. Clear up any clutter in the background and make sure the lighting – artificial or natural – is not too bright or low so that people will be able to see you.
Focus on the call
Concentration is essential for video calling. Pause any work you’ve been doing and focus entirely on the meeting. Ignore any emails or text messages that you receive, no matter how urgent they seem. Resist the urge to do anything else other than looking at the camera. Multitasking is a great skill to have in any career but during a video meeting it just seems inconsiderate. People may not be able to see what you’re doing, but they’ll notice if your eyes start to wander off.
Speak clearly and confidently
Whenever it’s your turn to speak during a video call, you have to be like a first-rate TV presenter: you have to look good and sound good. You want people to hear you and understand what you’re saying so it won’t be necessary to repeat yourself. A strong, confident voice can help you communicate effectively with others in the virtual meeting.
Even though you’re working remotely, you still need to maintain a positive business image, especially considering that it can affect your prospects of moving up the career ladder in the company. These key rules for virtual meetings will show your team members that you are reliable, dedicated and professional. If you want to be more efficient and productive working remotely, don’t forget to take a look at the Remote Working Packages offered by Nashua, which equip you with all the essential gadgets in the professional worker’s toolkit.