One of the few silver linings of working from home while attending meetings online? You finally get to dress less formal to work every day – the bras are off, heels hanged on the shelves, less make-up, and of course, you get to wear a blazer waist up, and nothing waist down. Although you’re presented with the golden opportunity to loosen up a bit, it doesn’t mean you should get sloppy.
Given the new reality of working online due to the COVID-19 lockdown, chances are you have participated in a video conference meeting more than once. From daily check-ins on Zoom to sharing screens with colleagues, adapting to remote work can be a hassle. But not to worry, we have got your back. Here are quick tips on the basic virtual meeting etiquette you should know to avoid embarrassing yourself.
· THE MUTE BUTTON
Underneath the virtual app interface lies a mute icon to control your microphone. Use it more often when you are not talking. This will spare everyone’s ears from conflicting background noises when a meeting is ongoing. It’ll also save your colleagues from the distraction that comes from knowing that your kids are screaming or laughing, or that Africa Magic Yoruba is on. And don’t forget to turn it back on when you need to speak.
· DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Working remotely indeed gives us the flexibility to wear anything we want to work. But it doesn’t mean you should show up in sweatshirts or comfy jerseys. The virtual meetings still hold a professional feel to it. Depending on the nature of your work, you can dress in casual wear but must act professionally. Always remember to dress as you would in an office conference room, definitely not in PJs.
· GIVE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
You’ll notice in almost all virtual meetings, there is someone who is always caught unawares. If it’s not ear-splitting noise coming from their end, it is the sight of the messy background that draws the attention or the sound of chewing gum. Sometimes they just stare blankly back at you. Do not let that person be you. Because such a person is never taken seriously. Be present and get rid of any form of distractions that can hamper the progress of the meeting.
· BE PROMPT
African time should never be extended to virtual meetings. If a meeting is for 10 am, start the log in 5 minutes ahead in case of network connectivity issues. Show that you value time and do not keep others waiting. There is a likelihood they might start with or without you, but that should not be an excuse to be late.
· LET OTHERS TALK
Virtual meetings provide a chatty platform for online interaction. However, always be intentional about your communication. As much as you have a comment to share, be mindful of the time allocated for the meeting. Make your short and precise points. Do not overshadow the host. And allow others to participate. As the host, give room for open questions and alternate contributions in a well-coordinated manner.
Are any of these tips helpful? Or do you have more tips to make virtual meetings productive and less frustrating? kindly share in the comment section below.
An interactive online community dedicated to women. Follow @thewcommunity on social media for your favourite lifestyle updates.