The last decade has seen a slow and steady shift towards remote and flexible working, accelerated by the pandemic. The number of people working from home has reached unprecedented levels, and professionals have quickly adapted to this new way of operating. This includes a remote meeting with clients and co-workers among many other new ways of working.
Many have had to get learn new technologies, mainly using online and audio-conferencing calls as the primary tool for interacting with one another. This new tool has also meant learning a whole range of new behaviors and video meeting etiquette. There have been many funny videos and memes over the last year of remote workers going to the bathroom and getting caught not wearing pants. While these incidents make for great social media entertainment, it’s not what you want to happen during your professional meetings.
To make this easier, we have put together a list of six things you should never do in a remote meeting.
One of the most significant benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to get dressed up. Instead, you can throw your hair up in a messy bun and work in your pajamas if you want. But it would be best if you never showed up to a virtual remote meeting dressed like this.
It’s unlikely that you’d whip out a bag of chips when sitting in the boardroom, and the same rules apply when attending a virtual meeting.
The meeting will only go on for so long, so hold off. If you really must eat during the call, choose something quiet that isn’t distracting everyone involved.
Choose a busy or distracting location
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office; some may be working from their living room tables or bedrooms, but you still need to be cautious of your surroundings during a virtual meeting. Ensure you keep the area tidy and don’t sit in front of any distracting artwork or wallpapers. After all, you want all participants to be engaged in the meeting, not watching the TV behind you or staring at your ever-mounting pile of laundry.
Let your pets or family wander around freely
Similarly, you need to eliminate distractions for both you and other meeting participants, which means you can’t have your family, housemates, or pets just wandering around in the background. This can be very distracting and could draw attention away from the meeting at hand.
Speak over people
Last but not least, you need to make sure you’re not cutting anyone off when they’re speaking, which can be tricky if there’s a delay. Be sure that you leave a little pause before answering and don’t talk over other participants. Similarly, it’s best to avoid asking open-ended questions to everyone, especially during a meeting with numerous participants. Otherwise, you might find your co-workers are tripping over each other trying to answer, and it becomes confusing. Always be specific when addressing someone or asking them a question.