Don’t Be That Guy: Remote Meeting Etiquette 101
You know him. He’s that guy in your remote meetings that just can’t get it together. You really can’t blame him. After all, he’s not used to meeting this way. Like most of us, ever since stay-at-home orders were announced, he’s been reluctantly living the work-from-home life. The conference room is now his bedroom, the kids are his new “co-workers” and his fur baby barks at every Amazon package delivered at the front door. Bless. His. Heart.
I must confess, I’ve been “that guy” more times than I’m willing to admit. Nevertheless, it’s important to uphold basic meeting etiquette. Learning from others’ mistakes is a powerful thing, so that’s why I’m sharing some remote meeting blunders from familiar characters you’ve probably met along the way.
Shady Sherman with the bad lighting.
While an obscure persona is intriguing, it’s not the vibe Sherman is going for. Background lighting from his window turns him into a silhouette, and you can barely see him on screen. In-person meetings are off the table, so to maintain meaningful interactions with his customers his facial expressions are everything. Next time, he can sit facing the window or in front of a lamp, so his smile shines through.
Nicky the noise maker.
It’s impossible to control the spontaneous, ear-splitting sounds around Nicky’s house—like her husband speaking loudly on the phone or the landscapers mowing the lawn—and it’s distracting her team. A foolproof way to avoid this is to remain on mute during the call, and only press unmute when it’s her turn to speak. Finding a quiet space to meet is also an added barrier to the noise.
Tardy Tim is at it again.
The team is stalling their weekly meeting until Tim arrives. It’s not like he’s driving around town to get from one meeting to the next. Punctuality builds trust and shows people that their time is respected. Tim should make sure his meeting reminders are set up correctly, and first thing in the morning he should check his Outlook calendar to plan his day accordingly. Synappx™ Meeting from Sharp is also a great way to keep him on schedule by providing reminders and a direct link to his meetings, regardless of the platform.
Dina with the hectic house.
Behind Dina’s desk is a basket full of laundry begging to be folded with two rowdy children bouncing on the couch. Online meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams can give her the option to blur her background or upload a professional looking background image to keep the behind-the-scenes chaos out of the meeting. If you’re having trouble finding backgrounds, Sharp has some you can use.
Lingering Linda shares TMI.
After a two-hour, company-wide meeting, Linda has serious meeting fatigue and forgets to hang up when it’s over. It’s lunch time after all, so she chows down last night’s leftovers and calls her BFF to chat about plans for the weekend. Oops, she forgets her video and microphone are on full display for her boss to hear! That’s the last time Linda forgets to leave a meeting. She could have dodged the embarrassment with Synappx Meeting. Its ability to automatically disconnect the technologies used at the end of a meeting is a real lifesaver.
Aside from these usual suspects, I want to leave you with a few more gems. We’ve covered good lighting, using the mute button, punctuality, backgrounds and ending a meeting when it’s over, but whether you’re the host or joining a call, these additional pointers will come in handy.
- Make sure technology is on point before meeting—check the Internet connection, camera and screen sharing functionality
- Come prepared to participate and read the agenda prior to joining
- Warm up the call by introducing participants and give everyone a chance to speak
- When others are presenting, it’s impolite to look at your phone or read emails
So, before you jump on your next meeting remember “Shady” Sherman, Lingering Linda and the rest of the gang. We’re all in this together in our pajama pants, but for the sake of everyone on your team keep these tips in your back pocket. They’ll secretly thank you.