Did you know that 99% of remote workers, if given a choice, want to continue working from home, even beyond the pandemic? The necessity to work virtually has opened our eyes to its many benefits, including increased productivity and enhanced work-life balance. However, the transition to a more virtual work life also comes with its own set of challenges. For remote workers, the initial novel delight in being close to family while at work may have already given way to the struggle to stay connected and motivated while overcoming distractions during remote meetings. As a virtual worker aware of all these risks to your productivity, it may be time to change your remote meeting game plan. Here’s our guide on modern virtual meeting etiquette to win the remote work challenge.
Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, so says Murphy’s Law. While it’s true that many things are beyond our control, there are several that aren’t. Do your due diligence beforehand and nip many of your meeting troubles in the bud.
Come mentally prepared and get enough sleep before the meeting. Dozing off, even with the ASMR quality of the meeting facilitator’s voice, is always inappropriate. Refresh your mind and body with sufficient rest and get your energy up to the mark for maximum focus and productivity.
Oftentimes, many precious meeting minutes are spent gathering and validating data which could have been taken care of beforehand. Get smart with a head start. Review the agenda and objectives ahead of time and knock out easy to-do’s.
Remote work requires a stable internet connection. Rather than upgrade your service plan entirely, there are other actions you can take. Got gamers in your house? Make the other people in your home aware of your work schedule so you can maximize the utilization of your bandwidth. Prioritize!
If you collaborate globally, ask your peers in different time-zones if you can schedule meetings during your area's internet usage downtimes.
Leverage the capabilities of your cell phone. Cellular networks can deal with higher traffic rates better than ISPs can.
Consider audio-only calls. It’s easier both on your bandwidth and your virtually fatigued peepers. One such app that can address both issues is Spot, a virtual meeting platform that enables you to stay both connected and productive in audio-only calls with its on-the-go features for remote walking meetings.
Punctuality will always be synonymous with professionalism. Suddenly popping into the middle of a virtual meeting is just as embarrassing as walking in late for an in-person event. Be in the meeting room a few minutes ahead of schedule, if you can. You can review the agenda, and mentally prepare yourself for the meeting.
It’s one thing to share because you care. But because virtual platforms can capture all your background noises, it is possible to overshare. Use noise-canceling headphones to minimize unwanted distractions. Keyboards can be quite sensitive, so check your mute button from time to time to keep interruptions at bay. Choose a quiet location whenever you can.
Spot can help you do just that with its walker-friendly features. With Spot, you can have your audio-only remote meetings from a quiet nook in the garden, on a park bench by a riverbank, or even on a forest trail. You can choose wherever and however you want to conduct your meetings, without the fear of picking up every sound in the background.
In the new normal where people must learn to strike a balance between work and their personal lives, multitasking is an essential skill. However, there is a place where it isn't always welcome, and that’s at remote meetings. It is hard enough engaging the team’s attention and getting their buy-in without seeing a participant sneakily playing Minecraft or Apex Legends. Besides, paying attention at a remote meeting will save you from asking questions that were addressed earlier while you were battling skeletons and zombies...
Behave respectfully in online meetings as you would for in-person engagements: 1. Don’t flood the chatbox while someone’s talking; 2.) Don’t eat (even if your mouth isn't full) unless expressly allowed; 3.) Do wait for your turn to speak.
Respect goes a long way in keeping things positive and supportive at work.
Video meetings are best for when screen shares are necessary. During these meetings, your visual presentation can make a lasting impression. Look your absolute best to make sure that impression is an excellent one. Ask about the dress code. Even in an age where dressing down has become popular among successful millennials and GenXers, it is always a safe choice to go business casual. Keep your desk clutter-free and professional-looking. Check on the rest of the fine details. Does the lighting hit the mark? Is the video background suitable to the tone of your meeting? Are your video filters flattering to you? All these little details make a strong statement about you. Make it a positive one.
Emergencies happen. If you have to leave the meeting suddenly, make sure you bid adieu to whom it’s due. Respectfully inform the meeting host both in the chatbox (for everyone’s knowledge too) and through a direct text message (in case they miss your chat note). In cases where you immediately need to go, send your regrets and inform the meeting facilitator or organizer as early as you can.
Refer to this simple guide on virtual meeting etiquette and be your best virtually-professional self in all your remote work meetings.