As a remote worker, especially if you’re a Product/Project Manager, you’re going to have to have a lot of online meetings a day, be it on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex or any other video communication platform.
Just as you wouldn’t be late to an office meeting and show up in your pyjamas or without combing you hair, there is an etiquette you should be following in online meetings so that you give the best impression. And yes, that includes being on time and not wearing your pyjamas.
1. Have your camera on. Always.
Even if you trust your colleagues, your subconscious will always doubt the reason why someone doesn’t have their camera on during the meeting. You might think it’s because they are actually not paying attention or they have something to hide. Avoiding others thinking this about you is simple: always have your camera on during meetings. Furthermore, this will make you always have a good hygiene and presence, which is highly important when working from home.
2. Go on mute if you’re not talking
A busy cafe. Children screaming. There is nothing more annoying in an online meeting than being interrupted by the noise that’s coming from one of the attendees because they forgot to go on mute. If you know you’re going to be in a noisy environment, be attentive and go on mute when you’re not talking, even if you have to constantly hit the mute button.
3. Face the camera as often as possible
Just as it happens in real life, not facing or looking at someone when they’re speaking can be interpreted as disrespectful. Since most of us remote workers only have the webcam that’s embedded in our laptops and we place it next to our bigger screen, others might see us from the side, giving an impression of not caring about or not paying attention to what they are saying. There is a simple trick to avoid this: try to have the window where the meeting is taking place in the laptop screen. If you do this, you will be facing the camera most of the time.
4. Share your screen while taking notes
If you have to take notes during the meeting, the other attendees might find it rude that you’re constantly typing, and might see it as a sign that you’re not paying attention. In order to avoid this, share your screen while taking notes. This way, not only is everyone seeing that you’re taking notes, but also can align with everyone better, resulting in higher quality notes.
5. Avoid not paying attention
Just as you would do in real life, avoid chatting on Slack, sending emails or any other action that will make you not pay attention to the person who’s talking. Not only will this be seen as disrespectful by the other attendees, but you will not pay attention to the meeting and you will either interrupt the meeting to ask questions about what was said or leave the meeting without any idea on what was decided.
6. Do not eat with the camera on