This may not be scientific data, but there’s a 99.9% chance individuals working from home during COVID-19 have joined at least one Zoom meeting. Zoom, for anyone unfamiliar with the company, is a videoconferencing platform. After you download and install the app, individuals may host or attend an online meeting. They can turn on the video button to physically appear on screen and put on audio to hear everyone speak.
Zoom has emerged as a work from home champion to businesses of all sizes as we continue to practice social distancing. However, there is still a bit of etiquette involved that everyone joining in on a Zoom call should practice. Whether you’re an employee or the boss, here are a few dos and don’ts to ensure your Zoom meetings are a success.
Do: Download Zoom across a wide variety of devices
In the time of crisis, it’s always helpful to have a backup plan. While being disconnected from a Zoom call on your desktop computer due to WiFi issues may not be a huge crisis, the interruption could cause you to miss the rest of the meeting. Or, at the very least, a few key points you would have liked to take notes and cover.
The best way to combat this issue is to download Zoom across several electronic devices. Make sure you have it ready to use on your desktop and/or laptop. Download the app on your smartphone and tablet, too. Be ready to switch to a different device as needed and hop right back into the video conference.
Don’t: Play around with backgrounds
Zoom allows users to switch up their backgrounds with fun images in lieu of their current background. Some of these can be fun, like putting up photos from a tropical vacation to pretend you’re really there. However, these images may be distracting to viewers — and there’s enough pixilation to make it obvious you have a virtual background.
Not sure what to do? Keep your natural background. If you find that this doesn’t appear to be professional, set aside a bit of time to tidy it up. Take down posters and put away décor that doesn’t reflect the nature of your home office. Put up a bookshelf or a piece of conservative artwork to decorate the space.
Do: Turn on/off audio/video when prompted
Many Zoom calls begin with everyone logging in for the meeting and quickly seeing their colleagues filter in one at a time. They may use this time to greet one another and catch up. Once the host arrives, there may be instructions for conducting the meeting.
If the host encourages everyone to put their speakers on mute, do it. This gives the host the opportunity to speak without worry that they may be interrupted. It also keeps the audio clear for listeners, ensuring loud noises or feedback from speakers left on will not accidentally blare into the videoconference.
Take a similar approach with video, too. Switch it off if you are encouraged to do it. This is often the case for large Zoom meetings with many guests. Turning the video off, once you have made the rounds in saying hi to everyone, gives your team the chance to focus and concentrate on the host’s agenda.
Don’t: Be late
The specific work from home circumstance we’re currently in is not a typical one. People are working remote, but also practicing shelter and safety in place guidelines. Each individual has a unique work from home environment, which may include small children, pets, and spouses all home together.
While there are many small distractions throughout the day you may need to address before diving into work, try not to be drastically late for a Zoom meeting. Do not take a nap prior to when the meeting starts or engage in an activity that could make you tardy or miss the meeting entirely. There are plenty of ways you can keep track of the meeting’s start date. Write down the date and time of the meeting, add it to your Outlook calendar, and set a timer to remind you when it’s getting ready to start.
Do: Keep getting savvy with Zoom
As states and businesses slowly begin to open up again, don’t assume it’s time to delete Zoom off your phone or chuck the program into the trash on your desktop.
Videoconferencing, which started gaining steam well before COVID-19, will be here to stay in our new normal. Continue to keep reading articles with tips on how to best use the platform and implementing this advice in future Zoom calls. This better positions you as an early adopter of the platform and allows you to help out others that may have questions about using it.