Online Meeting Etiquette: Useful Tips for Organizers and Attendees

With so many people working remotely, the number of virtual and hybrid meetings has exploded. While this shift to remote work can be great for productivity, it can also lead to some challenges when it comes to meeting etiquette. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some useful tips on how to behave in virtual and hybrid meetings for both organizers and attendees.

Why Is Virtual Etiquette Important In Meetings?

The importance of meetings from offline to online has not changed. One of the great things about virtual meetings is that they can save time and money as traveling is no longer required. 

However, if not done correctly, virtual meetings can still drain company resources. This is why it is so important to follow some basic etiquette guidelines when organizing or attending a virtual meeting. 

By doing so, you can help ensure that the meeting is productive, efficient, and successful. 

Top 5 Things Not To Do During Virtual Meetings

The best place to start is by reviewing what not to do during virtual meetings. Here are a few things you should avoid doing during a virtual meeting:

  1. Don’t be late. Just as you would with an in-person meeting, make sure you’re logged in and ready to go before the meeting starts. This shows that you’re respectful of everyone’s time.
  2. Don’t get distracted. Virtual meetings can be tempting to multi-task, but it’s important to pay attention and give your full attention to the discussion. This means no checking your email, browsing social media, or doing other work while the meeting is going on.
  3. Don’t eat or drink during the meeting. Eating or drinking during a virtual meeting can be distracting for both you and others on the call. If you need to eat or drink something, take a break from the meeting first.
  4. Don’t dress inappropriately. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can show up to a virtual meeting in your PJs. Dress as you would for an in-person meeting, even if that means wearing business casual.
  5. Don’t use inappropriate filters. Before joining a meeting, check that all filters are turned off. While using filters in casually virtual get-togethers is alright, business meetings should have a more serious tone. Using filters or “fun” backgrounds might make you look unprofessional. 

Here are some other things you should avoid doing during virtual meetings:

  • Taking a phone call in the middle of a meeting.
  • Use the camera as a mirror to fix your hair
  • Forget the camera is there and pick your nose
  • Eating during a meeting
  • Not muting your mic when there is too much background noise
  • Doing housework on a call
  • Express that you don’t want to be there

Virtual Etiquette for Meeting Organizers

Successful online meetings start with those who are organizing the virtual meeting. By following the steps below, you can lay a good foundation for your next meeting. 

Send Out a Meeting Agenda

Make an agenda and send it out before your meeting allowing enough time for everyone to review and prepare. 

Make Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page

Before the meeting starts, make sure that all attendees know what the agenda is and what is expected of them. This will help ensure that the meeting stays on track and that everyone can contribute.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Just because you’re not in the same room as the other attendees doesn’t mean that you can’t pick up on cues from their body language. If someone appears to be disengaged, make an effort to bring them back into the conversation. If many people are appearing to be uninterested, try asking questions to the attendees to get them reengaged

Respect Everyone’s Time

One of the benefits of virtual meetings is that they can be shorter than in-person meetings. However, this doesn’t mean that you should try to cram as much into the meeting as possible. 

Respect everyone’s time by keeping the meeting focused and on track. Starting and ending meetings on time is very important in today’s digital world as people may have other meetings that they need to attend. 

Ensure Everyone Is Participating

Finally, it is important to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the discussion. This can be done by using features like breakout rooms, jamboards, or chat functions. Ask questions, take poles, ask for feedback.

If you are a virtual meeting organizer looking to do an activity with your coworkers online, check out some of our fun virtual team building activities. Activities like Virtual Laughter Yoga really help lighten things up and set the tone for your next virtual meeting. 

Virtual Meeting Ground Rules and Norms for Attendees

When it comes to online meetings, there are a few norms and etiquette rules that everyone should follow:

  1. Be on time or early for the virtual meeting
  2. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking
  3. Turn off your camera when your video may be displaying something distracting

Virtual Etiquette for Meetings With International Attendees

These days, virtual meetings will likely have international attendees, especially if the services or products that your company provides are mostly done online. It is of the utmost importance to follow these guidelines before your next virtual meeting with international attendees. 

Time Zones

Be sure to conduct your meetings at the proper times of day to accommodate international guests. Remote international workers tend to work at night in their timezone. You still want to be considerate when scheduling a meeting at 4:00 AM (their time) after they have been working a 10-hour shift.

Language

To get the most out of your virtual meeting with international attendees, you will need to be cognisant of their English proficiency. Speaking slow, direct, and concise is a great way to ensure that the information being communicated is understood. You also want to avoid using slang, local terminology, and comparisons that your international guest may not understand.

By doing these things, your international virtual meeting attendee will be able to feel confident, comfortable, and included in the conversation. 

Culture

Before a meeting with an international guest, you may want to research general cultural customs that the guest may have. Western countries like the United States tend to be more task-oriented and want to jump right to business. However, countries in the Middle East, China, Mexico, and India are more relationship-based.

Relationship-based cultures like to get to know the people they are dealing with on a personal level. It is important to talk about family, friends, and hobbies before jumping into the business. Try going around the virtual room and having everyone introduce themselves and say something unique about them. 

Team Bonding has programs like An Attitude Of Gratitude that can help with inclusiveness and communication to give you an edge when interacting with people from relationship-based cultures.

The Bottom Line

Online meetings are a great way to communicate with people from all over the world in a variety of settings. By following these simple etiquette rules and norms, you can make sure that everyone has an enjoyable and productive meeting experience. 

It’s also important to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the discussion. This can be done by using features like breakout rooms, jamboards, or chat functions.

When hosting international attendees, remember to be cognizant of English proficiency and cultural customs. By doing these things, you can make sure that everyone has an enjoyable and productive meeting experience.

Are you looking to engage your employees virtually with team building experiences? Try Virtual Puzzle Assembly, a multi-sensory puzzle making experience that combines the art of conversation, the art of puzzle assembly and art itself.

Contact TeamBonding to learn more about customized team building events, tailored to the needs of your team, brand, or company culture.

Anna Webber

Team Contributor

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