Do you have good online meeting etiquette?

Just like in-person communication, virtual interactions have their own social norms and expectations. This etiquette is expected when using tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. With distractions like family, pets, and technical difficulties, it can be even harder to stay on task. That's why Computing & Information Technology has compiled these tips to help you stay distraction-free and efficient in your video calls and conferences.

Before meetings

  1. Profile picture: Keep it professional with a headshot (shoulders and up) on a plain background. If you don't have a professional headshot, try a selfie in front of a plain wall.
  2. Lighting: Position yourself where windows or lamps will be in front of or next to you. Being lit from the back makes it harder for your webcam to focus on you.
  3. Use headphones: Your microphone will pick up echos through your speakers, which can be annoying and distracting to others in the meeting. 
  4. Limit distractions: If you can, close the door, put pets in another room, and distance yourself from family members to limit loud noises and interruptions. 
  5. Create an agenda: Keep conversations on track and on-time.
  6. Respect hours and availability: Some students and employees may have adjusted hours due to family or work commitments. Limit after hours phone calls and messages to emergencies only.

During meetings

  1. Set your status to do not disturb: Avoid distracting pop-ups and notifications during your meeting. To change your status in Teams, follow these steps.
  2. Mute your microphone: Mute yourself when you're not speaking to the group. If you're entering a meeting already in progress, mute your microphone before joining.
  3. Turn off video to improve network connectivity: If you're noticing audio and video constantly freezing, turn off your own video to free up some bandwidth on your network.
  4. Use solid virtual backgrounds: Try to use solid color backgrounds or video blur settings to limit distractions for others in the call.
  5. Use non-verbal gestures: Communicating with a thumbs up or a nod can prevent you from interrupting someone else.
  6. Don't eat or drink during a meeting: If you need to take a sip of a drink, mute your microphone.
  7. Take notes: Take notes and share them after to ensure everyone is on the same page.
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