Due to Covid-19’s precautionary measures, it is advisable to avoid crowded places and to stay at least a meter apart from each other. This prompted establishments, businesses, and schools to temporarily close down and shift into a “work and study from home” setting. Meetings and online classes are now held online through software that allows multiple people to join the video chat. Amongst all these applications, Zoom is the most famous one.
Zoom has become a staple for work-from-home individuals and students who opted for online classes. However, many of us might think that just because the meeting is held virtually, manners and etiquette no longer apply.
It is a great alternative for traditional phone calls and meetings but do you know that there are a few practices and protocols you must keep in mind while handling or attending Zoom conferences?
If not, then you have come to the right place! Here are 4 important Zoom etiquette that you need to take note of.
1. How you look
Yehey for virtual meetings? No need to change out of your pajamas? Maybe it’s time to think twice. Even in Zoom, proper attire is still a must. If you are attending a more relaxed meeting, then you can wear your casual outfit. But, if it’s a formal meeting with important agendas to discuss, it won’t hurt to dress up and look presentable and professional. Don’t wear anything at a video conference that you are not comfortable with and make sure you get dressed before you open your Zoom link.
Other than your outfit, also take notice of your area’s lighting. Make sure that you are well seen in the camera and that there are no unnecessary light beams or shadows that might reflect on the screen. It is also a must that you do not eat, yawn, or stretch while in a business or an important meeting.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Your background should be as appropriate as possible. If your background includes your bed, make sure to neatly fold your blankets and pillows or if it’s in another part of your room, put away any unnecessary clutter and personal objects that might distract your professors, classmates, or co-workers.
Another important thing to do is inform your housemates and family members that you’d be attending an online meeting. This is to assure that they won’t be coming into the room anytime as the meeting goes on. However, if you cannot improve the state of your surroundings, Zoom has features that let you change your background into the scene of your choice.
3. Your audio
As much as possible, try to control your background noise. Microphones from your laptops and desktops can be sensitive at times and will pick up noises such as the television down the hall, your neighbor’s dog barking, or even a side conversation outside your door.
However, the instances mentioned above are unavoidable, and mute is your best friend. If you are not asked to speak, always mute your microphone to avoid unnecessary feedback and noise resonating in other’s speakers. Some team leaders or professors might ask that you unmute your microphones the whole time and if that happens, you will need to find a quiet area around the house that is also void of distractions.
4. Beyond the Basics
After checking all the basic etiquettes, there are also important things to think about if you want to have a good connection and impact through a computer screen.
First, if you are handling the meeting as a leader, don’t forget to introduce each member at the beginning of the conference formally. This could be the best time to know if everyone at the conference can hear you and can be heard. Make the introduction brief, and start the Zoom conference as close to the start time as planned. Remember that in your meeting, don’t be late and let others wait until you are online as a leader.
Second, even though you are in virtual meetings, eye contact is still valuable to make that important connection with other attendees. If it is your time to speak, don’t be afraid to look at the camera, and make sure that your entire face is in view. Position your camera at an eye level and don’t be tempted to look at your face on the screen or gaze at objects around your room. Stay focused on talking to other attendees, and don’t forget to share your smile. Eyeing at your screen camera is the key equals looking at your meeting attendees.
Third, as much as possible, reduce distractions coming from your email notifications that are popping up, cellphone messages may be ringing, or you have documents on your desk that you need to check. If you want other Zoom members to feel respected and valued, put away these distractions. If your participation only means listening, then it could be all right to turn off your video so it won’t distract someone who delivers his or her message. Limit distractions as much as possible.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun at your meetings. Give yourself and others much grace, and remember we are all in this together.
1. Before joining the Zoom meeting conference, make sure that you check your internet connection. It would be best if you had a stable internet connection to avoid lags and other interruptions. Check all of your presentations if you are going to present something at the conference. Make sure that you don’t forget anything that is needed for the conference meeting.
2. Only raise your hand if you have something to tell or wait to be called upon. Zoom has features of the “Raise Hand button” at the center of the bottom of your screen. Make use of that button if you wish to speak. Once your leader or your teacher calls on you, unmute yourself and start speaking. After you finished speaking, make sure to indicate that you are done by saying, “Thank you” or “That’s all.” Don’t forget to mute your microphone again.
3. Zoom also has chat features that allow you to make comments or ask questions. You can make use of that feature so you won’t interrupt the speaker. However, be aware that your comments are public, so anyone in the room could read it, and it could be recorded in the minutes of the meeting as the session ends. If you don’t have anything to say nice, then stay quiet and don’t say anything at all.
4. Be prepared as you are joining a significant meeting.
5. Take the initiative and make sure that you learn something in attending the meeting.
Zoom has been essential to most of us, especially for those who are often involved in conference meetings and online classes. But just because it is performed virtually, doesn’t mean that etiquette is forgotten. Be as professional as possible to leave the best virtual impression. This is a new experience for many of us, and together we can work through it.