A Simple Guide to Virtual Meetings

With so many jobs becoming remote and the rapid flexibility of technology, attending a meeting with your colleagues doesn't necessarily require you to go into the office. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime allow you to attend meetings from the comfort of your own home. Evidently we are currently going through a time where we are being urged to stay home and certain employers have allowed their staff to continue working from home. Due to this sudden change, not everyone is experienced when it comes to working from home and certain etiquette may be forgotten due to the casual nature of being at home.

Although you are now having to speak to your colleagues and attend meetings with your pet lying down next to you, you have to keep in mind that you are still required to be professional. Virtual meetings of course won't feel the same as in-person meetings and it may be hard to get people to listen to you or to concentrate while someone is speaking. Punctuality, preparedness, and commitment are also a couple of areas that can become affected due to remote work. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your next virtual meeting:

1. Be Prepared

If you know you are required to talk or lecture during an upcoming virtual meeting, do your homework. Gather any material you may need during the meeting and study the subject you will be talking about. Showing up unprepared can hinder the entire success of the meeting and it's not a good way to demonstrate your abilities. 

2. Open your Ears

No one likes to be ignored or to waste their time. Make sure to listen when others are talking during the meeting. Keep your eyes on the monitor and avoid wondering off in order to let them know you are fully there and paying attention. It's basic etiquette, if you wan't to receive it you have to give it. When it's your turn to speak, you want others to pay attention to you as well.

3. Avoid Distractions

This will understandably be a hard one. Especially since you're at home with so many distractions. Attend the meeting in a room away from anyone and everything in your house. Look for a quiet space and don't turn on the TV or have loud music playing in the background. When it comes to your beloved mobile device, keep it on vibrate or silenced in order to avoid any noises distracting the meeting and make sure to stay off it while the meeting is happening. 

4. Set a Reminder

Avoid showing up late or missing the meeting by setting up calendar reminders or an alarm. Punctuality is important if you want to show how much you care and how much your job means to you. Waiting on someone is a waste of valuable time. If you start on time you may even be able to cover all the material in the meeting at a faster pace and wrap up earlier than planned. 

5. Presence 

Although being at home doesn't require for you to walk around in business attire and be groomed to perfection, it's important that you look presentable during your meetings. Practice basic hygiene, comb your hair, and change out of your pajamas. Being at home does represent comfort but you are attending a meeting for your job, not video chatting with your best friend. Feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence and give you a little push for you to be motivated to take on the day while being at home. 

6. Test your Gear

A few minutes before the meeting starts make sure to test out your computer, microphone, headpiece, and any other gear you will be required to use. Take into account the battery of your computer and have the charger handy in case your battery begins to drain. Open and log in to the app where the meeting will be held to ensure that the app is working well and that you are able to log in with your credentials. Although technology has come a long way from its origins, it is still not perfect and it sometimes fails us when we need it the most. 

7. Be Mindful about Screen Sharing 

Sometimes during virtual meetings you are required to share your screen with your colleagues. Usually this happens when you're trying to show them a document or guiding them through steps on how to complete something. Close any irrelevant tabs you may have open in your computer before the meeting starts. Unnecessary tabs may cause a distraction and you want people to take you seriously and give you their full attention. Keep any confidential tabs like your emails or chat boxes away from your main screen and remember to be extra careful during your screen sharing not to open them.