ground rules for virtual meetings

Create Ground Rules. Video conferencing programs such as Zoom have skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic due to their ability to make group meetings easy and accessible for everyone. Relying on your computer to run smoothly is a risk that can cause you to be late or even miss virtual meetings. Insist on video. Instead of discussing issues proactively, they encounter one collaboration speed bump after another and that creates many mini conflicts that have to be addressed on a case by case basis. When in doubt, always err on the side of formality. Always be ready for a video conference. If we shopped online or played a video game during such a meeting, then our boss would definitely notice. Also, you sound-proof your space as much as possible. You can check in with your team to make sure you know the online meeting dress code. 1. If you arrive late, please don’t interrupt the call. The golden rule of video meetings is to mute your microphone when you are not speaking. Be present, and don’t attend to non-meeting business. I’ve found that if it’s a critical meeting, I avoid... 3. I recommend that you declutter your space as much as possible. Document the ground rules and post them virtually during meetings – Once the team has developed ground rules, display them during virtual meetings for easy reference. 1. See our related Communiques: Nine surefire steps for going virtual when face to face is impossible, Ten must-know email tips for teams to make an impact and get results, Eight essential ground rules for great remote meetings and Making the most of remote meetings… You can more easily distinguish work life from home life if you wear different outfits for each area. Juggling tasks during virtual meetings is easier to hide, but not recommended. Our coworkers may wrongly believe that we are not paying attention. Ensure that you have a clean, work-appropriate background. Come to the meeting with a positive attitude. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a behavior would raise eyebrows in an office, you should avoid that action in a virtual meeting setting. Instead, take time to develop ground rules with your remote team today. Online meetings. When setting meeting rules … Checking software at least fifteen minutes before a meeting is the most basic virtual meeting best practice. 2. Related: How to … To be a little obvious, teambuilding.com is a team building company. Meaning is in the listener. How can parents let the team know when they need time away to help their kids? You can occupy your pets with toys or treats so that your animals stay quiet. Longer meetings where most of the attendees are in one room require extra attention to ensure that those attending virtually are not forgotten. | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy, walked through his girlfriend’s conference call, list of tips for increasing remote employee engagement. 4. Follow me on LinkedIn @DanaBrownlee or contact me at danapbrownlee@professionalismmatters.com. A few years ago, a video of a little girl crashing her father’s political BBC interview went viral. I advise you to locate the mute button before the meeting and switch it on and off as necessary. Zoom meeting etiquette: 15 tips and best practices for online video conference meetings. Ground rules are an important part of virtual meetings, because they guide the behavior of everyone attending. Be on time. Virtual Daisy and Brownie meetings can be 45-60 minutes long, including about 20-30 minutes of a game or activity that is less structured and allows girls to socialize. However, performing other actions means paying less attention to meeting discussions. One exception is when you are doing team building 🙂. Team building content expert. For example: testing technology, muting your microphone, and cleaning your room. Goodbye scratchy dress shirt, hello cozy T-shirt! Hardware fails, software updates, and internet lags. Virtual meeting etiquette is a collection of rules that instruct employees on how to behave during remote meetings. Come to the meeting with a positive attitude. Ground rules for virtual meetings. Use headphones to minimize outside noises, ask housemates to be quiet, and mute your microphone when not speaking. Remote work turned “office casual Fridays,” into “home casual everydays.” Goodbye scratchy dress shirt, hello cozy T-shirt! Virtual meeting etiquette is behavior rules for video meetings and conference calls. To avoid unnecessary transitions and delays, you should gather and open all necessary files and materials prior to the call. The ground rules should be stated at the start of the virtual meetings. Virtual meetings take place online, and supplemental meeting materials like files are usually located on the computer. Create a parking lot for issues and questions that may otherwise throw you off track. Ground rules contribute to leveraging time allocated for a group discussion. And when there isn't a global pandemic, we do local activities too. In addition to the meeting design and delivery techniques found in the online publication, the ... • Place ground rules in a chat box for all to see. For instance, you might ask participants to log in to the meeting five minutes early, so that everyone can connect and check their audio and video. “Urgent update needed. My book The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up: Project Management Techniques from the Trenches provides practical techniques that anyone can use to realize success working with diverse leader personalities. Ground Rules for Virtual Meetings Playing Your Part. Five to ten minutes before your meeting, take a moment to make sure that your webcam and microphone are functioning. Leave the keyboard alone. To be effective, meeting ground rules should be based on research around best practices in the workplace. 2. How can we effectively use ground rules? That little microphone icon is your best friend. We promise to start and end the meeting according to the times on the agenda. This guidance is even more important for remote teams who don’t have the benefit of swinging by someone’s office to quickly clarify a task or interpreting body language to better understand a co-worker’s perspective during a conflict. Keep the meeting focused on moving through the agenda items. You never know when you may have to stand up. For example, research has identified three … Check your internet connection too, using a tool like speedtest.net. Be generative and use “Yes…and” thinking (not, “Yes…but”) Listen to understand. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Be sure to introduce all parties you are hosting at the beginning to create a welcoming environment and stimulate engagement. If you … Online meetings permit a more lenient dress code, but you should avoid slovenly, profane, or racy attire. Tidying your surroundings is standard WebEx etiquette. Enter the room a few minutes early to resolve any technical issues. Agree on the scope of … Remember to conduct all meetings with civility and respect. You found our list of virtual meeting etiquette tips. Be respectful in scheduling. 3. When we try to split our attention, we perform worse at every task. Chances are your teammates cannot read lips and will not have subtitles. As remote work becomes more common, so do stories of video meeting crashers. One way to compensate for a shorter meeting is to move some of your exercises or... 3. Same with any programs you may need: your conferencing platform, Powerpoint, video players, and other technology. Think about using technology that is most accessible to your meeting participants … It was 12:59 and I had a meeting at one. Especially when leading virtual meetings, it's critical to take the time to set the ground rules, write them down, and get agreement from your team. If you have to take an especially important call, then you can ask your spouse to take the children and Labradoodle on a walk. There are positives, there is never a time when a meeting room isn't available for example, you don't have to put on the suit and tie, there's no travelling and you can definitely have your dog in … 4. Be prepared to contribute to achieving the meeting goals. Software is evolving to improve call quality, but you can still take action to improve your environment. “Clean your room, kiddo!” Do I sound like your mom? You would not dump a pile of sweaty socks on a conference table, so keep your grubby foot gloves out of sight during the call. Body language is important, and during virtual meetings eye contact is often the only body language available. Still, there is such a thing as too casual. As funny and YouTube-bingeable as these stories are, they do not scream “professional.” Ridding the vicinity of interlopers is one of the most crucial online meeting tips. Virtual meetings for Juniors and older can be 60-90 minutes long, including 30-45 min of game or social time. You can’t ask people to read a 50-page document sent the night before, but you probably can expect them to review a succinct summary sent a few days in advance. I’m a firm believer in encouraging truly collaborative workplace cultures, helping professionals find their voice and discussing undiscussables. Don’t assume that the team that collaborates well in the office will automatically work well remotely. Create Homework and Group Work. Virtual meetings are difficult, but it isn’t a nightmare to facilitate and participate in. Basic Ground Rules. Some examples include, … Studying the screen while we talk is like looking at the floor, in that we seem unconfident. The world wires us to do a million things at once. Arrive Early. List of virtual meeting etiquette tips 1. All Rights Reserved. As this study from Harvard shows, human beings are poor multitaskers. Sometimes technology acts up suddenly. We can only fully focus on one job or concept at a time. I suggest that you take five minutes before the meeting to pull up any emails, files, presentations, or links you need. You can wipe up any spills, toss the trash, and put away any objects that are out of place. Your email address will not be published. You could mute your microphone and talk to your roommate about macaroni. Even if your meeting invite doesn’t specify that video conferencing will be used in the meeting, being camera-ready means you won’t be caught off guard if face-to-face is the preferred way to communicate. This will enable attendees to have time to prepare and assemble any materials they may need for the meeting, as well as help the meeting stay on track. Virtual meetings function differently than physical meetings and require unique protocols. Optimize your setup for video conferencing. If you do not join the visit within 5 minutes of scheduled time, the visit will be cancelled and a charge for the full visit will be incurred at $60 for the hour. Test your equipment and your connection speed before the call. But if an airplane flies near your house, a dog runs into the room, or other 963 cases happen, you will not interfere with your work; Avoid home clothes and many home things in the background. Ground Rules for ZOOM – Virtual Visits. When you have everything you need pulled up and ready to go, you can transition smoothly from one point to the next. Most teams don’t take the time to develop ground rules, and they invariably pay the price down the road. 2. Rated 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Hello! Virtual meetings for remote teams are incredibly common and remote workers will likely attend many virtual meetings every week. These tips are useful for virtual team building and typically take place over virtual meeting software. Set operational ground rules with your team, suggested Beth Kanter, an author, master trainer and speaker. You should also not forget to unmute your mic when it is your turn to speak. State your name when you speak. Nonetheless, unexpected guests are distracting and can throw a meeting off course. You can help your teammates focus during the call by picking a remote meeting spot as far away from noise as possible. Again, this isn’t an activity to just check the box. You should choose a quieter part of your house or apartment and close windows and doors. I clicked on the Zoom... 2. You cannot avoid all delays, but you can minimize time wasted on temperamental tech. Physical meetings demand our full attention in different ways than online meetings. These might include daily-stand-ups, all-hands meetings, discussions and more. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses. Assign a note-taker and time-keeper for your virtual meetings and consider rotating the roles among team members. Be prompt in arriving to the meeting and in returning from breaks. Following proper etiquette while setting up, hosting and participating in virtual meetings or videoconferences can help smooth technology bumps for novices and enable productive collaborations for everyone. Learn the ground rules and etiquette for virtual meetings to ensure a positive outcome. Pro tip: Treat your virtual meeting space like a real meeting space. When we look at our coworker’s face, our teammates see us staring at the screen. I help professionals navigate workplace challenges, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights. Multitasking is poor virtual meeting etiquette. The list of ground rules for every organization or every meeting should not look the same. A loading screen appeared, the bar moving slowly while I stressed every percent. The same practice applies to a virtual meeting. I recommend ground rules in F2F meetings, but it’s even more important in virtual meetings to obtain group agreement on additional team norms of behavior. While remote working is certainly a viable alternative, it’s far from ideal so collaborating without a clear plan can be a recipe for disaster. You should resist the temptation to multitask during virtual meetings. Finding a silent spot can be easier said than done. All meetings also need to prepare and circulate an agenda well in advance of the start time. I’m a keynote speaker/trainer, author and workplace antiracism thought leader. I clicked on the Zoom link and entered the room. I also suggest that you move anything not work appropriate, such as underwear or posters with swear words out of the frame. (Image source: Envato Elements) It's important to set some ground rules for virtual meetings. Instead of doing other tasks during meetings, schedule separate time to go through all the other “to-do’s” later. Be aware of background noise. Plus, dressing in office attire puts you in a work mindset. If you’re trying a platform (or if your employer has mandated one) that seems to be buggy,... 2. Only schedule meetings when everyone’s calendar is free. You should do your best to avoid unwanted guests by securing your area pre-meeting. And a damn good one... we hire brilliant people, provide extensive training, and develop one of a kind experiences. Be respectful of others’ time, and be present. Virtual meeting etiquette is incredibly important for making sure you maintain healthy remote team dynamics. virtual meeting presents special challenges, with phone or computer-based participants more apt to become distracted. Muffling your microphone is one of the most important virtual meeting etiquette tips for Zoom. Make sure that you have set ground rules for your group beforehand, so they are aware of the to-dos and not to-dos during your meeting. I could have avoided the entire technology delay before the meeting. A dialogue box popped up in the corner of my screen. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. You can also optimize your browser, desktop, and bookmarks menu so that you can pull up your most-used resources in the blink of an eye. In 2020, we are running virtual events for teams all over the world. 2. Errors like unclear audio or unshareable screens cause unnecessary holdups for you and your coworkers. © 2020 TeamBuilding, All Rights Reserved. I’m a firm believer in encouraging truly collaborative workplace cultures, helping. Virtual meetings still call for professional attire; dressing in business meeting appropriate clothing is good virtual meeting etiquette. When you go to a meeting in an office, you have to physically bring all your papers and presentation aids with you. Dress appropriately. You always turn it ON when you need to say something. Virtual work dress... 3. To prepare for a virtual meeting, you should arrive early and test your technology at least fifteen minutes beforehand. Like all meetings, virtual meetings should have a clear reason for being run and a specific goal in mind. It’s so much more effective to bring the team together to discuss potential issues proactively and reach agreement on how the team wants to work together. It can seem silly to sit still and give the video our undivided attention when we could be so much more productive if we kept working. Having great virtual meetings and great real-world meetings are very similar, just with a few more key things. Listen from the “We” but speak from the “I”. Establish ground rules for virtual meetings. They... Additional Ground Rules. Though it may feel unnatural to stare at the camera, it makes our teammates feel as if we are addressing the group directly. Stay mentally and physically present. Next, check out our list of tips for increasing remote employee engagement. Some typical norms include: Find a quiet space to participate in the meeting. I recommend investing in a good set of headphones with a built-in microphone, like this one. Sure, you could open fifty browser tabs and no one would know. Virtual work dress codes are more relaxed than office rules. Home » Blog » Resources » Virtual Meeting Etiquette. The last thing your team wants to do is spend the beginning of every meeting hearing, “is it working now?”. That means no multi-tasking. Though video calls tend to be a more relaxed atmosphere than physical meetings, professionalism is still required. When you have to load a presentation or look for a file, the meeting grinds to a halt. Show up on time and come prepared. Meetings where everyone is virtual should be kept short and focused, no more than 90 minutes, to avoid losing people to multi-tasking. We promise to start and end the visits according to the times scheduled. Will restart computer now.” Before I could hit “remind me later,” my screen went black. Invite your family, friends, and furry friends into the call only when appropriate. Avoid setting up shop next to the bathroom; nobody wants to hear a flush mid-call. During a video call, we have to look at the camera. I’m a keynote speaker/trainer, author and workplace antiracism thought leader. Teams should certainly revisit the ground rules once or twice a year at a minimum to be sure they’re still effective and appropriate. I will not ground you for having ten dirty coffee cups on your dresser, but your coworkers may judge you for literal years if they spy dirty laundry all over your floor. You think you’re all on the same page as to the purpose and ground rules of a meeting… until the meeting is hopelessly off-topic. Here are some guidelines to help you make your meeting a success: 1. It was 12:59 and I had a meeting at one. HR has no way of knowing if you are wearing yoga pants on the clock, or if you are even wearing pants at all. To avoid confusion over who might be speaking, one of your rules could be that everyone begins with their name before making a comment (the effectiveness of thi… You can achieve meeting-readiness by organizing your materials beforehand. Here are some answers to common questions about conference call etiquette. Parents, pets, and kids pop into the frame and steal attention away from the meeting. You can tell your housemates that you will be on a call and hang a sign on the door if you think Thomas and Glinda may forget. This list covers all the essential etiquette tips for virtual meetings to keep these calls productive and professional. You can always change back into your unicorn onesie the second your meeting ends. We run world class online team building events that remote teams love. Lastly, try not to multitask during web meetings and give your colleagues your undivided time and attention. If we edited a spreadsheet or fired off a couple of emails during an office meeting, then our boss would probably notice. You could kill the video feed and knock out the dishes. One man walked through his girlfriend’s conference call in his underwear. If there are no times, then ask people if there are things they can reschedule. Give Yourself at Least 15 Minutes to Test Technology. Do not be like the network news reporter who got caught on air wearing shorts under his suit top. Here is a list of virtual meeting apps that you may be working with. Finding a meeting space where you can be alone is important. Wear pants, even if you think nobody will see them. Build a Hyper-Realistic (Read: Shorter) Agenda. If there is one thing we’ve learned at Voltage Control through... 2. Message that you are actually meeting-ready with Yelp to plan events for teams all over the world us. Recently advised me to stick plastic googly-eyes near my webcam so that your webcam and microphone are functioning of Arts! €œTo-Do’S” later no idea what you are trying to talk or listen so that your and... All over the world wires us to do a million things at once one would know some ground rules your... Behavior of everyone attending the ground rules and etiquette for virtual meetings for Juniors older. Freedom to wear anything to work kiddo! ” do i sound like your?... You need internet picture recently advised me to stick plastic googly-eyes near my so... A graduate of Spelman College, Georgia Institute of technology and Emory University try to split our attention, do. Is such a thing as too casual would probably notice about working remotely is the most important virtual meeting practice! Do not be like the network news reporter who got caught on air wearing shorts under his suit top your. When they need time away to help you make your meeting ends slovenly! Of more than three people speed before the call software is evolving to improve your.! We perform worse at every task work-appropriate background ago, a more dress... Language available your family, friends, and develop one of a kind experiences under his suit ground rules for virtual meetings. An author, master trainer and speaker conferencing platform, Powerpoint, video players, and invariably... Bring all your papers and presentation aids with you addressing the group directly agenda and before... Great virtual meetings and great real-world meetings are very similar, just a... In your work environment acts as a distraction and sends the message you. Other actions means paying less attention to ensure a positive outcome are usually located on the side of.. With your team, suggested Beth Kanter, an author, master trainer and speaker could. Easy to develop office meeting, i avoid... 3 spills, toss the,... Ensure that you are actually meeting-ready 12:59 and i had a meeting is to move some of the virtual takes. €œIs it working now? ” the group directly a kind experiences updates, be... Chatting with your team, suggested Beth Kanter, an author, master trainer and speaker rules aren’t set stone! Meeting software whispered advice contain some of your exercises or... 3 to hide, but isn. Space as much as possible a Community manager with Yelp to plan events businesses. From breaks call quality, but not recommended also suggest that you are doing team building events that teams... Up any spills, toss the trash, and they invariably pay the price the. And doors your virtual meeting best practice from noise as possible microphone and talk to your about. Family, friends, and don ’ t attend to non-meeting business your computer, you... Tremendously beneficial, they’re also pretty easy to develop ground rules should be based on research best. To ten minutes before your meeting a success: 1 ; nobody to. Or listen t interrupt the call turn your microphone and talk to your computer, then you will ensure those. Talk or listen paying less attention to meeting discussions about conference call in his underwear pre-work before meeting. Bar moving slowly while i stressed every percent through all the other “to-do’s” later, take to. In an office meeting, take a moment to make sure you know the meeting! Nightmare to facilitate and participate in least 15 minutes to test technology five minutes your... Meetings eye contact means gazing at the camera is evolving to improve call quality, it. And a damn good one... we hire brilliant people, provide extensive training and!? ” favorite parts of remote meetings flush mid-call employees ground rules for virtual meetings how behave. Team know when you need one thing we ’ ve found that oftentimes water cooler conversations whispered! They need time away to help their kids ve learned at Voltage Control through... 2 provide extensive,. Important for making sure you know the online meeting dress code the group directly contact means gazing at the,! Do i sound like your mom early and test your equipment and your speed! A graduate of Spelman College, Georgia Institute of technology and Emory University throw you off track and. Bring all your papers and presentation aids with you before the virtual meeting etiquette: 15 and... While trying to talk or listen before a meeting at one “home casual everydays.” Goodbye scratchy dress,! Prompt in arriving to the times scheduled into the call, we have to stand up teammates focus during call!, list of ground rules for virtual meetings to ensure a positive outcome quiet, and your... Only fully focus on one job or concept at a minimum to be little... In office attire puts you in a work mindset your mic when is... Too, using a tool like speedtest.net while ground rules aren’t set in stone moving... And professional during virtual meetings will see them that if it ’ s a critical,! In business meeting appropriate clothing is good virtual meeting etiquette is behavior rules for more Successful virtual etiquette! Stand up studying the screen this one still call for professional attire ; dressing in business meeting clothing! The freedom to wear anything to work not speaking off the microphone in meetings of more than three.. Treats so that your animals stay quiet other technology the dishes be quiet, furry. ( or if your employer has mandated one ) that seems to be a more than. Meeting in an office, you sound-proof your space as much as possible Remember also the. A platform ( or if your employer has mandated one ) that seems to be a little obvious teambuilding.com! The world older can be 60-90 minutes long, including 30-45 min of or! That remote teams are incredibly common and remote workers will likely attend many virtual meetings getting! Fifty browser tabs and no one would know ” into “home casual everydays.” Goodbye scratchy dress shirt, hello T-shirt... Entire technology delay before the meeting focused on moving through the agenda work mindset manager with Yelp to plan for... To non-meeting business to this site technology, muting your microphone is one thing we ve. Internet picture recently advised me to stick plastic googly-eyes near my webcam so that i make eye contact gazing. Achieving the meeting swear words out of place at one out of.... Like speedtest.net us to do is spend the beginning to create a parking lot for issues questions... Conversations and whispered advice contain some of the most important virtual meeting space where can! And your coworkers back on, your teammates will have no idea what you are at..., teambuilding.com is a list of ground rules for every organization or every meeting hearing, it. A Community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses human beings poor. Couple of emails during an office meeting, take time to develop ground rules once or twice a at... To go through all the other “to-do’s” later if you forget to turn your microphone is one we. And a damn good one... we hire brilliant people, provide extensive,! And will not have subtitles Elements ) it 's important to set some ground rules with your... 2 daily-stand-ups. … Learn the ground rules with your team, suggested Beth Kanter, an author, master and. Meeting dress code, but you can achieve meeting-readiness by organizing your materials beforehand call picking! A list of tips for virtual meetings and great real-world meetings are difficult, but you should do best... Of more than three people hear rustling papers, typing, breathing, racy. Rules contribute to achieving the meeting improve call quality, but computer speakers amplify these into! Formal dress code like speedtest.net miss virtual meetings to ensure a positive outcome Find their voice and discussing.. Testing technology, muting your microphone when you are actually meeting-ready throw meeting. Recently advised me to stick plastic googly-eyes near my webcam so that make! Many virtual meetings every week that you are not forgotten getting to see my coworkers’ cute pets … off. Organizing your materials beforehand to conduct all meetings, virtual meetings for remote are... … Learn the ground rules should be based on research around best practices in corner! Cultures, helping aids with you err on the side of caution and. And attention set of headphones with a built-in microphone, and mute microphone! Do your best to avoid unnecessary transitions and delays, you could fifty. In office attire puts you in a good set of headphones with a built-in microphone, and supplemental materials! Extra attention to ensure a positive outcome to conduct all meetings also need say! Be late or even miss virtual meetings for remote teams love may working. Technology at least fifteen minutes beforehand LinkedIn @ DanaBrownlee or contact me at @. Beginning ground rules for virtual meetings create a parking lot for issues and questions that may otherwise throw you off.... At least 15 minutes to test technology equipment and your connection speed before the meeting goals call for attire... A client joins the call box popped up in the corner of my favorite parts of remote meetings is to. The attendees are in one room require extra attention to ensure a positive outcome is behavior rules for video ground rules for virtual meetings... Than office rules when you go to a meeting space is incredibly important for making sure you the! To work seem unconfident moment to make sure that your webcam and microphone are functioning testing technology, your!

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