Online meeting etiquette

There’s nothing like a pandemic to ‘help’ people use new technology, but whether you use it effectively or not is a different matter.

We’ve been helping companies implement Microsoft Teams for quite a while now, but in the last few weeks there has been a tsunami of people and companies who’ve suddenly realized they need to use Office 365 and Teams in particular. It’s been reported that Microsoft saw an increase of 37% in just one week as people were told to work from home.

There are plenty of free online training courses available to help people get started, here’s a link to the Microsoft Teams help and learning centre

One of the great features in Teams is the ability to hold virtual meetings – a life saver right now! You can schedule meetings from Outlook, or from Teams, but if you want the meeting to show in your Posts timeline it needs to be set up in Teams and reference the channel.

Zoom is another great meeting app with some features that Teams doesn’t have like the ability to see more than 4 people on video in a meeting. But what I wanted to talk about isn’t the application, it’s the use of it.

When you have a virtual room full of people who are not used to interacting online, they may not be aware of how they’re viewed. By this I mean that when you are in a physical meeting and you yawn, people don’t notice so much as they can see much more than your head. When you’re using a mobile phone or webcam, it’s focused entirely on your face, so if you yawn everyone gets a wonderful view of the inside of your mouth. Lovely. And if you pull a face at what someone says, every single person in that virtual meeting can see very clearly what you think. It’s a good idea to think about the impact you want to have and how you want others to remember you. Plus with so many more people using home broadband that’s not always great, you may find your yawn or facial expression frozen in time for everyone else to enjoy. There have been several times I’ve wanted to take a picture and send it to the person but I’m not that brave!

To reiterate a point I made yesterday, if you need to type something when on a call, please mute your mic so it doesn’t pick up what you’re doing, but don’t forget to unmute when you need to speak! By the way, Zoom has a great feature for hosts that can tell if participants are doing other work and not paying attention to the call window. And when it come to camera position, particularly when you have several screens, put your online meeting and webcam on the same screen preferably one you look directly at, not one that’s high up, and please don’t put your online meeting on a high up screen when you’re webcam is lower. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.

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