Virtual meetings have come a long way in the past few years, and are an important way to connect team members across locations. They have helped businesses cut down on travel costs while still bringing employees together to collaborate, and work well for hybrid teams as much of the business world embraces that model.
Holding effective online meetings is vital for your team’s success, so let’s take a look at some unwritten rules for virtual meetings that can make your online communication experience better.
1. Make sure you are presentable while on video calls
While video calls are more comfortable than flying across a country to attend a meeting in person, it’s still important to show up well-groomed and confident. This will help strike a good impression among the attendees. Also, if you worry your background is messy or distracting, try turning on a virtual background to make it look neater.
2. Keep your calendar up-to-date
It’s important to always keep your calendar organized and updated. That way, your team members can simply take a look at your calendar to find the best time to meet with you and schedule meetings without any conflicts.
3. Stay on mute when it isn’t your turn to talk
Imagine being interrupted by a car horn or noisy pet from someone else’s microphone when you are giving an important presentation. Wouldn’t that frustrate you or throw you off? To avoid accidental distractions, remember to keep your mic on mute when someone else is presenting or talking. You can unmute when it’s time to add your thoughts.
4. Don’t interrupt when someone is speaking
The golden rule in communication is to first listen and then talk. Interrupting a colleague would show you don’t care about what someone has to say. Be attentive and respond accordingly.
5. Turn off your notification sounds during meetings
Background notifications from other apps can be distracting when you’re on an important call or meeting. To make sure you are fully present, mute your notification sounds during online conferences.
6. Be on time for scheduled meetings
Being on time for meetings not only speaks about your punctuality but also shows you value your time and respect other meeting attendees. Try to be ready at least five minutes before any scheduled event.
7. Reduce meetings and use synchronous communication tools
Virtual meetings are great for efficient collaboration but also consume quite an amount of time on everyone’s schedule. Sometimes, the intended meeting goes beyond the scheduled hours causing heavy burnout. This could be avoided by having a well-prepared agenda for the meeting. Even better, you can use asynchronous communication tools like email, video, voice and text messages to communicate if and when necessary.
8. Don’t schedule meetings outside of work hours
This may seem obvious, but respecting your team’s boundaries and work-life balance is imperative. If you’re scheduling a work meeting, do your best to make sure the time fits into everyone’s work schedule first.
9. Always record the meetings or take minutes
One of the best practices to follow while hosting meetings is to record it or take minutes of the meeting so that important discussions can be revisited later. This will come in handy when you want to share meeting discussions with a teammate who couldn’t make it to the meeting.
10. Add a co-host for assistance
Internet issues are unfortunately common in online meetings. If you run into any internet issues or have an emergency which forces you to leave a meeting, you should consider adding a co-host to take over and keep the discussion going.
These are some of the key points to note if you are someone who often hosts or attends online meetings. Your team can use these suggestions to help improve your communication with others, collaborate effectively, and stay productive.
Most online communication tools come packed with features like calendars, notes, and recording options that will help you coordinate and organize meetings effectively. Zoho Cliq helps streamline your meetings with calendar, notes, scheduling, and recording options, and Cliq also supports other features like virtual backgrounds, video messages, and “do not disturb” mode for a seamless virtual meeting experience. Start your free trial and explore these features today!