It’s likely that during the days of COVID those of you not used to remote working environments are reliant on it now. It didn’t dawn on me soon enough that Zoom Etiquette was a thing we needed to talk about. The viral horror stories that are circulating reminded me how many people are newer to the technology of it, let alone the idea of remote work altogether. So here are some things I’ve learned from many, many, many years of using Zoom with plenty of embarrassing moments of my own.

Zoom Etiquette

  1. Technical Issues – tech issues are out of your control sometimes, but it can slow a meeting to a crawl, kill timelines, and make frazzled Frank a freaking mess.
    1. Hardwire into your modem as often as possible for better speeds and reliability.
    2. Start the meeting a few minutes early in case you need extra time to install or familiarize yourself with the interface.
    3. If you aren’t familiar with the tech, use Google to research it prior.
    4. If you do find issues, ask for help rather than delay the group.
  2. Use a Headset
    1. As good as the mics are on these newer machines, headsets lessen the likelihood of background noise.
    2. In most cases, sound quality will be better for all parties this way.
    3. Many headsets will allow you to adjust the volume or mute your mic easily so you can pay more attention to the meeting.
  3. Don’t Be Distracted
    1. If you plan to take notes, make sure you communicate at the beginning of your intro that you will be doing so.
    2. Outside of note-taking, stay off your phone, other open browsers, etc. Give the attention to your audience as you would if you were in person.
  4. Use the Mute Button
    1. If you don’t have an option on your headset, mute yourself on your Zoom screen when it isn’t your turn to talk.
    2. Muting the screen does NOT turn off your video.
  5. Dress Properly
    1. Lots of meetings are casual. This doesn’t mean you have to dress up but don’t assume. If you’re meeting to discuss selling a $400,000 Cessna to a private buyer, you may not want to wear a tank top.
    2. While people can’t see below a certain point, make sure your camera is properly angled. You’ll be surprised what I’ve seen when folks don’t pay attention.
  6. Use a Flat Surface
    1. Having the laptop on your lap will cause the screen to bounce when you laugh, move, type, or mute the screen. Use a flat surface when possible.
  7. People Can See and Hear You and Your Family!
    1. The camera angles capture wider than you may think. The further away the camera is from you the larger area we can see behind you and OF you. What you can see on your screen, we can see wider, lower, and higher as viewers.
    2. Tell your family when you’re zooming. Naked husbands have been part of those viral videos. ?

I love a good zoom etiquette fail story, but I also want to hear from you if you have any rules to contribute to the list. Let’s connect on Twitter and share your thoughts with me.