As the pandemic continued and the number of employees working from home increased, every industry saw an increase in video conferencing. As this is not the norm for many companies, businesses may not have processes in place to set expectations for video conferencing etiquette. At AZ, we saw an increase in our video conferencing use, and continue to have regular, firm-wide video meetings to increase communication.
As we utilize video conferencing more, our HR professionals and Marketing Team have put together guidelines for our employees to follow. The following are our tips for successful video conferencing:
1. Use the Mute Function
We’ve all attended meetings where someone’s dog was barking or the background noise of one attendee was so distracting it felt impossible to pay attention. Don’t be this person! Mute your microphone while you are not talking to avoid unwanted audio.
2. Be Punctual
Just as it’s important to be on time for in-person meetings, it’s important to be on time for virtual meetings. If you know you will be late, let the other attendees know.
3. Test Your Technology
Understanding the platform you’re using appears much more professional than struggling to use the video conference program. If you’re not confident you know the platform you are using, set up a test call with fellow employees to learn the program.
4. Engage with Attendees or Presenters
Giving a presentation virtually can feel incredibly awkward for both attendees and presenters. If you’re an attendee, try to answer or ask questions when prompted. If you are a presenter, be sure to greet attendees as they enter and engage with your audience throughout the presentation.
5. Have an Appropriate Background
No one wants to see the mess behind your desk! If you do not have time before a virtual meeting to tidy up, consider using a virtual background. Your company may even have branded options for you to use. Choose one that is not highly patterned or distracting, so you are the focus of the screen.
6. Be Camera Ready
Just as you’d be sure to dress and groom appropriately for an in-person meeting, dress and groom for your virtual meeting. You may only be appearing on camera from your chest up, so be sure to at least wear an appropriate top, even if you’re wearing pajama bottoms and slippers.
7. Use Proper Lighting
Having poor lighting can be distracting to other participants and can make it difficult for attendees to engage with you. If you can, position your desk near a window. Always position yourself so the lighting is in front of you. This will ensure you aren’t back-lit (the “Witness Protection” look).
8. Pay Attention
Making eye contact, answering questions, and engaging when prompted will help you enjoy the meeting more and will also ensure other participants feel respected.
We know it can be difficult to communicate these guidelines across your company without documentation to refer to. If your company could benefit from video conferencing guidelines, the following download is available for your use.
The Anderson ZurMuehlen Team is pleased to be a resource to you. Additionally, our HR Team and Marketing Team are highly experienced in creating branded guides for businesses. Please contact us with questions!