Well-orchestrated meetings and virtual conferences are vital to fostering an environment of inclusion and engagement amongst a team and within a company. According to an article published by the Connecticut Business Center, “Meetings are typical – even a necessity – for any organization. They are opportunities for members of the team or the company to exchange ideas and discuss objectives. Some employees may think that meetings are completely unnecessary, but if you hold an effective meeting, you can fulfill your goals while saving time, money, and talent.”
Purposeful and efficient meetings are extremely beneficial to the organization and its employees and should be taken seriously. They allow staff members to contribute their ideas and understand the company’s expectations, needs, and wants, providing them with the clarity and the tools they need to advance quickly in their careers.
With many large companies transitioning to working remotely, it’s safe to say that virtual conferencing will become the new normal. In order to continue to do your best in the workforce, you may need to adapt to this new form of communication and the new form of etiquette that comes with it. Below we’ve compiled our 6 do’s and don’ts to help you make the most of your virtual meetings, whether they be via phone or video chat.
Don’t wait until the meeting starts to log in
In a previously published BrandResumes article, “How to Navigate Performance Reviews,” we brought up the point that “you are ALWAYS being interviewed.” Logging into your meetings early and being ready to go helps you avoid last-minute distractions and limits stress. It also sends the profound and unspoken message: you are consistently dedicated, organized, punctual, and an asset to the organization. All attributes that every employer or colleague would love to see.
Don’t join the meeting unprepared
Time is money. In fast-moving organizations, or any organization for that matter, showing up to meetings without the tools and information you need can be detrimental to the operation. Strive to show up to all meetings with notes in hand, questions ready, and a presentation prepared if necessary.
If you wouldn’t do it in a face-to-face meeting, don’t do it in a virtual one. Besides the fact that it makes you look incredibly unprofessional, it’s blatantly rude and disrespectful to walk away from your camera during a video meeting. Make it clear that you aren’t doing your housework, watching tv, or otherwise diverting your attention from the discussion at hand by giving your full, undivided attention to whoever has the floor.
Do be professional
While you may not be face-to-face with the meeting administrator, it’s still vitally important that you take all meetings seriously. This means you should not only play it safe and wear pants at all times, but you should also look as put together as possible. Keep in mind that you may be meeting with executives, team members, or business partners for the first time. If you won’t walk into a boardroom wearing your robe while having visibly poor grooming, don’t do it during a video conferencing call.
Pro tip: It never hurts to see your smile, no matter if it’s a phone chat or video call. Popular conferencing programs like Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow you to upload profile pictures. I suggest doing away with the generic avatar and uploading a well-presented headshot. Doing this allows you to present yourself in the best light, even if others don’t see your face.
Do participate or engage in small talk
Have you ever held a meeting or led a presentation in front of a large group, asked for feedback, and heard crickets? It’s awkward, to say the least. Give some courtesy to the meeting administrators when it’s requested, and try your best to add some useful commentary to the call. Doing this helps others get to know you better, shows that you are engaged, and it’s a nice thing to do. Perhaps others have the same comment or question as you do, which will lead to team members having their concerns addressed. Not to mention, contributing your thoughts and ideas will surely make a good impression on your leadership team who are in the meeting.
Do review your profile settings and test your equipment
Always review the account settings to ensure your microphone and volume settings are working. Also, ensure that you have a good internet connection. You have valuable insight to contribute to the meeting; it’s always good to hear what you are saying.
Mute your account when you are not speaking as a courtesy to others. While we all love the thought of being able to work from home with our new baby or family pet, the fact is, they tend to be a bit noisy at times. Muting your account will limit the excess noise and allow your team to conduct a quality meeting.
While it is in your best interest to adhere to the do’s and don’ts listed above in just about every instance, please keep in mind that every company has a different culture. It’s best to familiarize yourself with that culture and understand what’s encouraged and what’s not. Some may follow different rules, have more understanding, and foster their employees behaving as they are the most comfortable.
We hope you find these virtual conferencing do’s and don’ts to be useful. Thank you for reading our BrandResumes Career Advice Blog. We would love to hear from you! Be sure to leave your comments in the section below.