What we’re all thinking but not saying
So, you have scheduled a Zoom meeting and you are not exactly sure what the Zoom etiquette is? It’s okay, we are all thinking the same thing. The world is a strange and unfamiliar place right now with COVID-19 taking over much of 2020. We all need to be aware of our environment and other people in new and challenging digital environments. So, here is our simple Zoom etiquette guide to help get you through.
A few general rules:
- Be ready to join or set up for your Zoom meeting 5-10 minutes early in case you encounter technical issues and so you are ready to go on time.
- Mute yourself when you’re not talking and if there is any background noise that not everyone in the meeting needs to hear i.e. if you need to have a private conversation in the middle of a meeting or your dog is barking.
- Set yourself up in a quiet space with proper lighting so you don’t appear too dark or too light on video.
- Adjust your computer or webcam so that others can see your “headshot” shoulders and head clearly in the middle of the screen.
- Be aware you are on camera i.e. do not check your phone, read emails, or eat your lunch during the meeting.
- Stage your video area – keep in mind that you’re going to be seen and so is your background. If you are going to use a background picture, test it beforehand.
What is the etiquette when Zooming with work colleagues?
Let’s be frank! It’s not professional to eat on Zoom unless your joining a ‘lunch date’ meeting. It might not look very pleasant and makes others in the meeting feel uncomfortable or that they don’t have your full attention. If it is a ‘lunch meeting’ sit yourself further back from the screen.
It’s okay to have a drink i.e. a glass of water but don’t walk away to make a coffee and leave others waiting.
What is the etiquette when Zooming with a group of friends?
If you are home schooling your children and juggling competing priorities, have you dedicated a quiet zone for your Zoom catchups with friends? If your kids are causing chaos; zooming around in the background of your Zoom and your head is spinning from all the Zooming, consider setting boundaries with your kids i.e. for the next hour is quiet time. You can draw, read or watch tv but you are not to disturb me in my meeting unless it’s a serious emergency. Set yourself up in a quiet room and if your kids are old enough, close the door. There is nothing more frustrating for your friends than having a three-way conversation with you and your kids. If need be, excuse yourself, mute and turn camera off, if you need to go and deal with your children. Come back when ready to do so.
Adult interaction time is very important for our mental wellbeing. Plan ahead and set aside the time for your friends i.e. don’t do the washing or do the dishes whilst chatting. Your friends may need your attention just us much as you need theirs.
Always keep Zoom interactions courteous and respectful, and enjoy the opportunities technology provides us.