Video Conferencing Etiquette, is there Such a Thing?
When COVID first hit, we were all trying to muddle through this new form (for many of us) of technology to communicate with one another. Many of us appeared to be un showered, just came from a run, not dressed appropriately and in many cases not wearing pants. I can almost understand this free-for-all for those poor kids who were in school when COVID hit, but this was also going on in the business world.
On a recent video conference call with a prospective client; we had to provide to them a list of people that would be joining in on the meeting from our team. We in turn would get from them a list of people who would be joining from their side. This is standard, but what we are finding is that not everyone wants to be seen on these meetings and in many cases, they are on just as a listener. In the case of the silent, unseen listener; wouldn’t you think that they would at least add a profile photo to the account? If not, isn’t this just a regular phone conference call? We are just swapping out formats and wasting the time to even set it up these video conferencing calls. There are of course, situations that you might have to step away from these conference calls; you might have to cough, you may have to sneeze or even worse, yawn. Mute yourself and go dark for a second and come back on. And if you go dark, include a profile picture while you’re out. You would also think that being on time (especially if you’re the one who scheduled the meeting) would be common sense. Unfortunately, it is not!
Here are some of our favorites that we have seen lately in our office:
People drinking water out of gallon jugs, splashing water on their shirts. (Typically, the millennials)
Holding on to their cell phones and texting during the meeting while their talking.
Watching YouTube videos/tv/sports games during the call. (Yes, we can see what’s on your phone because you have a mirror behind you) (We can also see it in the reflection of your glasses)
Now that we have a few years under our belts, it’s clear that these meetings are the new normal. My guess is that some still aren’t wearing pants, but how would we know? We have come up with our own set of rules and etiquette here at A3 Media. These rules may seem to be common sense, but we find time and time again that they are not.
Be on time.
Know ahead of time who will be attending and their roles.
Be on camera during our meetings (unless those items highlighted above).
Use a profile picture in case you need to step away.
Make sure your personal phones are off camera, ringers off, vibrate off.
Look at the camera when speaking so you’re actually addressing the group or individual.
Pants are still optional if you don’t stand up 😊