The Dos and Don’ts of virtual meetings

“These are unprecedented times,” politicians, social commentators and news anchors have said ad nauseum since the turn of the year. The impact of the Coronavirus, the global pandemic that has claimed lives and livelihoods, has demanded that we revisit the way we all interact with each other. Lockdown restrictions require us to socially distance ourselves, which has seen certain businesses closing indefinitely, and others implementing telecommunication measures to continue operations.

As such, working-from-home (WFH) has introduced many to video conferencing technologies they may likely had never utilised before. Platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and even FaceTime have been used for employees to convene remotely and keep abreast of developments and various tasks.

However, video conferencing is not as straightforward as many may believe and, indeed, social media has been inundated with examples of cringeworthy moments involving colleagues and clients who weren’t quite au fait with the tools at hand, and the appropriate etiquette necessary to carry out successful meetings. As in offices, it is important for co-workers to adhere to ethics and common decency towards each other.

Here are so Dos and Don’ts of virtual meetings:

DOs

  • It may seem obvious, but according to techfunnel.com all proposed participants must be sent URL links at least a day before the official meeting date. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with the platform interface and features.
  • It is more than likely that attendees have other scheduled meetings to attend throughout the day. Respecting everyone and adhering to the set time is crucial.
  • If you deal with professional matters, it is still important to be clothed appropriately, especially if you’re in view of all attendees.
  • Find a safe spot with stable internet connectivity, and ensure that it is quiet and allows decent lighting.
  •  Importantly, it is undeniable that attention wavers from time to time. Keeping minutes and following up on targets set during the meeting will ensure everyone knows their deadlines and expectations.

DON’Ts

  • Unfortunately, many of these platforms are susceptible to hacking from trolls. Do not share URL links to these meetings publicly unless they are open to the public.
  • Don’t interrupt other speakers.
  • Do not eat or drink during the meeting, as it can be unseemly for fellow attendees to witness.
  • Don’t keep distracting sounds on – including TV and/or radio.
  • Do not do other work during the meeting, as it is not only rude, but distracting for other attendees.

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