According to a recent research by Forbes, 80% of employees agree that video conferencing is the go-to method of communication among internal teams, and 84% agree that it is preferable over audio conferencing for communicating with external stakeholders.
With the transition that has happened over the past one and a half years, virtual meetings have become a common thing for all remote teams. From board meetings to Fun-Fridays, everything has gone virtual. Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are some common tools on which we now spend hours collaborating with internal and external teams. Thus, video conferencing etiquettes have become important for the meetings to be professional and productive.
Here are seven common video conferencing etiquettes to follow.
1. Test Your Tech (Hardware & Software)
In this current era of remote working, almost everyone depends on technology for their day-to-day office work. The in-person all-hands and team meetings have transitioned to virtual remote meetings. Technical difficulties are a common occurrence. To make sure technical problems do not hinder your meetings, here are few things to check before you start:
- Install the latest version of the videoconferencing software
- Keep your conferencing tool open before the meeting starts, as most of the tools will throw a series of pop-ups asking for different accesses
- Keep your laptop charged or keep the charger handy
- Check your laptop camera
- Test if your microphone is working
- If you are presenting, keep your presentation ready
2. Be On Time
Virtually or otherwise, it goes without saying that being on time for meetings is important. So, video calls are no less official than in-person meetings at the office. Be on time or rather be ready a few minutes before the meeting. Utilize the grace period, and as mentioned in the above point, check your tech before the meeting starts. This will ensure that you have a smooth meeting with no technical glitches. Not only this, once you miss the start of the meeting, it is difficult to understand the context. Moreover, when you walk in late to a video meeting, it disturbs everyone else present in it.
So being on time is one of the key aspects of virtual meetings. And it also shows that you value everyone’s time.
3. Mute yourself when not speaking
Working from home can be quite noisy at times with various background noises. Children playing in the other room, construction going on in the next lane, someone watching TV, kitchen noises, dogs barking, etc., are some common distractions. If you are not speaking, then get in the habit of muting yourself while on the call. It will prevent others on the call from hearing distracting background noises. Unmute yourself only when you are going to speak. If you are the speaker, then work on reducing or eliminating the background noises before the call starts.
Also mute any loud notifications on your device if you are the speaker of the video call.
4. Dress Appropriately (At Least Bottom Up)
The need to get ready for office has become a redundant concept now. With everyone working remotely, employees need not follow a dress code anymore and work anyhow they want. But the scenario is slightly different if you are taking part in a video call. Get ready for a video call in the same way as if you are meeting someone in person. Brush or comb your hair, wear an ironed shirt or polo T-shirt, and be as presentable as possible. You not only dress for yourself but for the colleagues and clients you are connecting with.
5. Don’t Miss The Eye Contact
In a video conferencing call, many of us do the blunder of looking at the video instead of the camera. While we will say it is not wrong, looking on the screen makes you look distracted and not attentive. Instead, practice looking at the camera while on a video call. Put the webcam lens at eye level and look into it while you speak. This will give others the impression that you are maintaining eye contact continuously while on the call. This helps you establish a connection with your meeting attendees.
6. Don’t Multitask and Be Attentive
Stop working on other things or multitasking when you are on a video conferencing call. You will not only miss out on important things but it is also rude to do so. In a video meeting, it is very easy to understand when you are engaged in the meeting and when you are distracted doing something else. Behave in the same way as you would do in an in-person conversation and keep your other tasks on hold till the meeting gets over.
Lighting plays an important role in a video call. Too little light and you will appear dark, and with too much light you will appear unnaturally white. There should be an optimal amount of light in the area from where you do your video call. To check lighting conditions log in before time and check the camera settings and its lighting. Adjust it till your face appears clear, natural, and non-grainy.
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