Video Conferencing via Zoom and Other Platforms is on the Rise
According to statistics provided by mobile market data source App Annie, video communication apps for business have seen record use levels since March 2020. As COVID-19 continues to sweep through the nation and disrupt business, many organizations have embraced work-from-home culture at a magnitude never before attempted.
Video meetings are now the new norm. In fact, Zoom saw daily meeting participants skyrocketing to 300 million users in the last quarter, which was previously a mere 10 million pre-pandemic. And a recent Gallup poll says two-thirds of remote U.S. employees say they would like to continue working from home even when pandemic restrictions lift.
With video meetings here to stay, it is time to get serious about them. The following tips for video conferencing etiquette will help you appear professional in remote meetings as seamlessly as if they were in a conference room.
Make Your Zoom Meetings Productive with These Essential Tips
Arrive on Time
Unlike a busy conference room where people are having side conversations and grabbing a last minute document from their desk before a meeting starts, video meetings make it painfully obvious when you show up late. Those who promptly logged in can easily see who is not there or not ready and holding up the whole meeting. Some executives will even “lock the door” of a video conference five minutes after the meeting starts to keep stragglers out completely. Do your best to show up on time and be ready with your microphone and camera on before the meeting starts.
Turn on Your Camera
The purpose of a remote video conference is to keep business running as smoothly and professional as possible. When your camera is on, everyone knows you made an effort to get out of bed, get dressed, and are ready to work. Avoiding avatars and stock photos keeps colleagues from wondering what you are really up to. Even if you are an introvert or having a bad hair day, turn your camera on. It is far better than being the only “invisible” person in the meeting.
Keep Your Microphone on Mute
Even with just a few people in a video conference, excess noise can be a huge distraction. Echoes and feedback can be disruptive as well. With more children participating in remote learning, employees home with their pets, and other noises occurring, it’s best to keep your microphone on mute until you need to speak. Also, silence any computer notifications, cellphones, and other disruptive alerts.
Be Attentive and Avoid Interrupting
During an in-person conversation it is easier to read body language and social cues to know when it is your time to talk, but that’s not always the case during a video conference. Do not be upstaged by the loudest voice in the Zoom room. Anticipate and watch for signals as you come off of mute. This will help everybody in attendance know you want to say something. With practice, you will volley through conversations naturally as you draw people into the conversation and give them a hook to add their own comments.
Having a 1pm “lunch meeting” over Zoom? Skip the thought of bringing your lunch. Even if you have back-to-back video calls all day, try to snack off camera. As video calls are now a way of office life, many of your colleagues will be using speakers and high-fidelity headsets that amplify sounds – including chewing. Stay professional and considerate and simply avoid eating during your meetings.
Do Not Multitask
Everyone is busier than ever these days, which means multitasking is inevitable. But you’ll actually get more out of each meeting if you close out of all other programs and windows on your screen. This will allow you to be fully present. Giving your full attention at each meeting supports the reason why you were invited to the meeting at all. Having a notebook nearby can help you stay focused and allows you to make reminders to yourself for tasks once the meeting is over.
With so many video conferences, there’s no doubt your teams will need to get onboard with the new way of working!