Etiquette for online meetings

With most of us working from home, meeting online is inevitable to stay up to date on each other’s work. Here at CEL we’re quite used to meeting online, and have also experienced some faux-pas on this subject.

That’s why we’d like to share some online meeting etiquette with you to make your online meetings run as smooth as possible.

Professional surroundings
Now that we’re all working from home we see each other in our natural habitat. It might be a bit of a stretch to create a proper workspace for both you and your partner at home. So if you are working in the kitchen or bedroom do make sure there’s no washing-up in the sink or clutter in the background. Not only can these things be very distracting for your conversation partners, it can make you look unprofessional especially when you are connecting to new contacts.

Some online meeting applications have the possibility to blur your background, a very helpful tool to hide that NSFW poster on your wall.

No pyjamas
With our working days spend indoors, the temptation to work in your pyjamas might grow each day. Rolling out of bed straight to your work laptop might seem like bliss, but please dress up for your conference calls. If it’s too much of an effort, just go for dressing up your top half.

Mute your microphone
If you’re not talking, it’s best to mute your microphone. Especially when you have a lot of background noises going on, like a partner that is talking loud on his own calls, kids who are arguing or a meowing cat that wants attention. It’s also a good way to mute the tapping on your keyboard when you are vigorously taking notes or secretly chatting to your mom.

Use your earplugs, to minimize background noise when you are talking. It also prevents echoing.

Speak clearly and use good manners
When you are talking, don’t forget to unmute your microphone.

It’s always good to introduce yourself when you sign in to the meeting, a simple “I’m here” suffices when you’re among colleagues. Make sure you only do this during a pause when no one else is speaking.

When it’s your turn to talk during the meeting, make sure you speak clearly and slowly enough for everyone to follow. Also try not to talk over anyone else, this can be quite a challenge though when delays occur.

Don’t eat during the meeting
Similarly to working in your pj’s all day, it might be tempting to eat your breakfast or lunch behind your computer. Again that’s perfectly fine when you don’t have a meeting, otherwise it’s a bit rude and it distracts you from the meeting that’s going on. So wait with those chips until the meeting is over.  

Stay present
During a meeting you might see an e-mails coming in that ask for your attention, try to keep your focus though. If you try to multitask chances are you miss key information or miss out on the opportunity to give input.

All things considered, it can be quite funny if things don't go as planned: