In the age of pandemic, Zoom meetings have become every company’s lifeline.
Online meetings have quickly become part of companies’ day-to-day operations. As part of the new normal, every business transaction is now carried out either through Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype.
These online platforms have made the transition to a work-from-home set-up easy. People can join and facilitate conference calls, job interviews, workshops, client presentations, brainstorming, and sales pitching in the comfort of their homes.
Since sitting in front of a camera is not part of our job, it’s important to determine the proper work etiquette during online meetings. Luckily, we rounded up seven ways to maintain a sense of professionalism despite working at home.
Keep Your Home Office Spick and Span
Before you hop on that conference call, you have to tidy up your home office first. You wouldn’t want your co-workers to see the pile of laundry sitting on your floor or the tangled sheets on your mattress.
To make your room presentable, make it a point to clean up at least an hour before your meeting. As much as possible, remove any element in the background that could be distracting to your peers.
You might also want to conduct a test run before you go live. Open your webcam and see how your home office looks on screen. This would help you make necessary adjustments before that 10 AM call.
Improve Audio Quality Through Headphones
Whether you’re boarding with a roommate or living near the highway, putting on headphones during a Zoom meeting will reduce the noise in your audio.
Using headphones will also get rid of that inaudible and muffled quality of audio when on speaker mode. So, throwing on those earphones will surely be helpful to you because you can listen more intently to the discussions and minimize the chances of you saying, “can you repeat that for me?”
Try to Look Polished and Professional On Cam
Just because you’re at home and the video quality of Skype is not at all HD doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to look good.
It’s still a business set-up regardless if you’re in a boardroom or a bedroom. Because in the new normal, your room is already an extension of your office.
Does that mean you have to squeeze into your office slacks or put on glitter eyeshadow? Fortunately, no. When you’re in front of the camera, you just have to look professional from your waist up.
How can you look polished with minimal effort? Wear a comfortable top that you usually wear at the office. You don’t have to wear makeup, but put some color on your lips and cheeks. And make sure your hair is properly combed to the sides, away from your face, or tied in a bun.
Be More Sensitive in Group Calls
If there are points of discussion that don’t involve other people on the call, don’t let them just listen to you and your manager go back and forth about the specifics of your concrete paving deal. If it doesn’t concern them, schedule a separate meeting with your boss that only involves the two of you.
Imagine having to tune in to a 40-minute conversation that doesn’t even involve you. When in group calls, take into consideration your colleagues on the line, not only the urgency of your concern. Avoid blabbering about something that has no relevance to all the ten participants of the Google Meet session.
Don’t Fight for Airtime
It’s hard to read the room when you’re all just a bunch of tiny squares on the screen. With no non-verbal cues, it’s difficult to know when’s the best time to raise a question or throw in your two cents.
However, don’t make the mistake of interrupting someone who is speaking. Make sure the speaker is finished before you throw your first line. The dangling message or the dead air will be your cue.
Don’t Let Them Hanging
You have to be responsive during group calls, especially if you’re engaging in a dialogue with someone. If you can’t answer a question and you need time to think, don’t just leave your superior waiting for you to speak up. Your silence might be mistaken for technical glitches or outright rudeness. So, don’t wait for them to ask, “are you still there?” Politely inform them just what you’re doing—whether you’re composing your response or searching for the file on your computer.
Don’t Just ‘End Call’
Don’t just hover over the ‘end call’ button without bidding goodbye. Whether it was a one-on-one call or a group meeting, you have to sign off properly.
Before closing your window, ask for clarification, quickly recap the meeting, go over your tasks to your boss, or acknowledge the final statement. When the meeting is adjourned, formally sign off and say thank you.
You have to show proper etiquette despite the work-from-home arrangement we are now tied to—because professionalism is not only limited to your office floor.