While the world continues to work from home, virtual meetings have become an essential part of the workday. It’s the only way we can continue business operations and collaborate — but it can be hard with your dog barking, kids who need help with schoolwork or the next episode on Hulu or Netflix at your fingertips.
Here are 6 conference call rules of etiquette to keep you on task and mindful of others.
1. Arrive on time.
No one should show up late to a meeting — even if you aren’t walking through a door. Test your technology to ensure it’s working and know how to use it once you’re logged in. There’s nothing more frustrating then waiting for someone to install an update to get the meeting started.
2. Dress for success.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should dress inappropriately — at least from the waist up for video conferences. You don’t have to be perfect, but be mindful it’s still a business meeting.
3. Set and stick to an agenda.
Meetings without an agenda sent in advance are inefficient. Agendas keep everyone on task, mindful of the time and help the conversation stay productive. Setting a certain amount of time for each speaker also helps everyone from talking over each other.
4. Moderation is key.
Before hopping on regularly scheduled calls, agree on a moderation system. Use “hand raise” features in some platforms or use the chat window. This will help keep people from talking at the same time, give shy or introverted team members the opportunity to ask questions, and keep you from interrupting others.
5. Find a quiet space.
It may not be possible to always do this, but it’ll make a world of difference if you can. Go in a room where you can shut the door — or even sit outside.
6. Be present.
Act just as you would at an in-person meeting. Give speakers your attention and don’t spend the meeting replying to emails or scrolling through social media feeds. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent and hide notifications.