Navigating the world of online meetings can be a challenge. When you factor in technical mishaps and unexpected distractions, it’s easy for a remote meeting to fall apart within minutes of starting. Even if you’re using a reliable conferencing platform with the best hardware available, online meetings can be fraught with faux pas.
If you’re keen to maintain professionalism and bring some order to your next online get-together, you need to think seriously about virtual meeting etiquette. Need some pointers? Read on to find out what you need to know about mastering meeting etiquette in a virtual space.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette Explained
As with in-person meetings, you’ll need to have some solid guidelines and ground rules in place for successful virtual meetings. Many standard meeting etiquette rules can be applied to a remote team meeting. Everyone attending should be familiar with the meeting agenda and understand what’s appropriate when interacting with colleagues in a virtual space. Maintaining good meeting etiquette allows businesses to remain professional, even when operating as online-only enterprises.
Why Is Virtual Meeting Etiquette So Important?
As well as allowing companies to maintain professionalism, virtual meeting etiquette ensures you’re getting the most out of those online sessions. For remote-first businesses that rely solely on video meeting interactions, it’s even more essential.
Virtual meeting etiquette can lay out basic requirements from employees, such as studying an agenda and completing any pre-reading. Having a clear framework in place also makes it easier for everyone to stay focused during longer meetings and ensures everyone will pay attention to critical points.
Meeting etiquette also establishes guidance for how employees are expected to interact with each other. Professional, respectful interactions are the standard here. However, you also need to consider how democratic you want to be with your meeting etiquette. If you want your team to feel heard and valued, make sure you’re giving everybody the confidence and space to contribute.
Finally, virtual meeting etiquette helps standardize things. If you’ve only ever worked with remote teams, you won’t have an existing work culture that can be transplanted over from the real world. By hammering out meeting etiquette guidelines, all attendees will be familiar with everything from dress code to the finer points of online interaction.
10 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Rules
Are you struggling to reign in a remote team? Below are 10 of the most important online meeting etiquette rules to remember when hosting your next virtual get-together.
1. Always Dress Professionally
Those working from home might be content to lounge around in joggers and sweats, but you need to dress appropriately when meeting online with colleagues. Dress code is ultimately dependent on company culture and the nature of the meeting. If you’re dealing with clients in a customer onboarding meeting, you’ll want to make much more of a professional impression than if you were catching up with colleagues in a daily stand-up meeting.
2. Check Your Internet Connection and Hardware
Before any online meeting, it’s important to check your equipment first. A second-rate microphone or outdated webcam will make it almost impossible to contribute anything useful to a meeting. However, a slow internet connection can also cause trouble, even if you’re working with cutting-edge hardware.
3. Make Sure You’re Using Reliable Software
If you want to host a successful remote meeting, you’ll need to be using the right software. However, a basic video conferencing platform won’t do. If you want to make your sessions as interactive as possible and introduce multimedia elements, try using Gloww for your next virtual meeting instead. As well as being one of the most accessible meeting platforms around, Gloww lets you host up to 1,000 participants in a single session. You can adapt one of many meeting templates to your needs, or start from scratch to create a truly bespoke session.
4. Eliminate Distractions
When working from home, it’s hard to plan for the unexpected. However, you can do a lot to minimize distractions that will throw an online meeting out of kilter. You’re probably not working from a soundproofed home office, so make sure you’re letting roommates and family members know you’ll need some quiet time. Do you share your home with four-legged friends? Make sure your pets are shut away during a meeting to avoid any unplanned canine cameos.
5. Make the Right Impression with a Professional Background
Although expectations are less formal when you’re working remotely, you’ll still want to make use of a professional background to send the right impression. Public spaces with busy backgrounds are a no-go. Ideally, position yourself against a plain wall for a classic meeting backdrop. If the room you’re in is going to be visible, carry out a quick sweep for clutter and make the space look as clean and professional as possible.
6. Don’t Forget To Mute Yourself
Whenever you’re not talking, remember to put yourself on mute. This eliminates the chance of unexpected background noises causing a disruption. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the mute button if you plan on contributing again.
7. Schedule Breaks for Longer Virtual Meetings
If you’re planning a longer meeting, you’ll need to schedule in sufficient breaks. These should be captured in your meeting agenda, letting people know when they head off for a caffeine kick, bathroom break, or to compile meeting notes. To make the most of your virtual meeting breaks, consider working in some games or ice-breaker activities to engage attendees.
8. Always Show Up Early
To avoid any bad habits forming, make sure you’re making a point of promoting punctuality when hosting virtual meetings. If you’re prepared and circulated an agenda, everyone should know when the meeting starts. As with regular meetings, it’s always a good idea to arrive early. This way, any last-minute technical issues can be resolved, without the meeting schedule having to be delayed.
9. Never Interrupt Someone
This is one area where online meetings and in-person meetings diverge considerably. When you’re sitting across the table from someone, it’s easy to back-and-forth with ideas. However, even occasional interruptions can spell trouble for a virtual meeting. If you’re talking and someone interrupts, things can be brought to a standstill. Combined with minor delays caused by slow internet connections, you’re looking at a domino effect of disruption. Use body language to engage with other meeting participants instead, maintaining eye contact and using non-verbal signs that you’re listening.
10. Switch Off Your Video if You Need To Leave the Meeting
Need to leave the meeting? Rather than dash off and leave an empty chair in frame, switch off your video until you’re back at your keyboard. This way, you won’t leave a constant distraction on screen.
Start Planning Your Next Virtual Meeting with Gloww
Now that you’ve brushed up on the basics of virtual meeting etiquette, you’re ready to start planning your next online get-together. With Gloww, you have a full-featured video conferencing platform that will revolutionize the way you stay connected with remote teams.
Thanks to Gloww’s user-friendly design tools, you can create on-brand meeting sessions in moments. Explore an extensive selection of ready-made templates, or personalize your own with company colors, business logos, and multimedia assets. Are you keen to make your next virtual meeting more interactive? With Gloww, you can use tools like live polls and surveys to gather instant feedback from participants, or make things more interesting with ice breakers and collaboration tools.
Ready to put the wheels in motion? Get started with Gloww’s templates today or start creating your own session. If you want to learn more about our advanced features, take a look at our pricing plans. Do you still have questions about Gloww and what it can do for you? Get in touch with the team today.