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12 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Rules for Work | Dive

Master virtual meeting etiquette with our 12 essential rules for professional success. Enhance communication, engagement, and professionalism in remote work settings.

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In today's fast-paced digital world, where person-to-person meetings have shifted to online platforms, mastering the art of virtual communication has become more critical than ever. As our professional landscape evolves, it's essential to adhere to a set of virtual meeting etiquette rules to ensure productive and engaging conversations.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the online meeting realm, embracing these 12 key principles can significantly enhance your communication skills and foster a sense of professionalism in every online interaction. So, let's dive into the world of virtual meetings and discover the secrets to effective remote communication.

What is Virtual Meeting Etiquette?

Virtual meeting etiquette plays a pivotal role in maintaining professionalism and enhancing productivity during office meetings conducted online. With diverse backgrounds and distractions at play, it becomes crucial to establish guidelines that optimize engagement and minimize disruptions.

By recognizing the significance of virtual meeting etiquette, individuals can create a conducive environment for effective communication and collaboration. From choosing appropriate backgrounds to minimizing distractions, implementing these practices will not only foster a sense of professionalism but also boost productivity levels in the virtual workspace.

Let's delve into the key aspects of virtual meeting etiquette and unlock the full potential of online office meetings and why manners matter.

People sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytime

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Why is Virtual Meeting Etiquette Important?

In the realm of effective meetings and channels of communication, virtual meeting etiquette stands as a paramount factor for successful business communication. With the rise of remote work, direct communication through virtual platforms has become the norm, making it imperative to uphold proper business communication etiquette.

By adhering to virtual meeting protocols, individuals can ensure a professional atmosphere where plenty of ideas flow seamlessly, conflicts are managed respectfully, and collaboration thrives.

From maintaining punctuality and active listening to utilizing appropriate video and audio settings, avoiding poor lighting, and following virtual meeting etiquette sets the tone for productive discussions, fosters strong professional relationships, and ultimately enhances the overall effectiveness of business communication in the digital landscape.

12 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Rules

When it comes to virtual meetings there are plenty of tips to keep in mind. Adhering to essential etiquette rules is paramount for smooth and productive interactions between meeting participants. Let's explore 12 key guidelines that will elevate your online meeting experience.

Come prepared and adhere to the meeting time

In the realm of professional life, being prepared and punctual for virtual meetings is crucial to ensure maximum productivity and meaningful interactions and is one of the most important ones among online meeting etiquette. With real-life commitments and responsibilities at play, adopting a casual or nonchalant approach toward online meetings can lead to missed opportunities and ineffective communication, especially if you are the meeting host and have decided the meeting schedule.

By allocating ample time to gather relevant materials, reviewing agendas, and testing technical setups beforehand, individuals can demonstrate their dedication and respect for the meeting's purpose. Also, ensure that there are no background noises and that the background appearance is professional. Having a messy background can make you look unprofessional.

Further, focus on the lighting. Having proper lighting, whether it is natural lighting or professional studio lighting, ensures more effective topic conversations with your teammates. Poor lighting can hamper ongoing conversations.

Finally, ensure there is no form of distractions around you. These could be audio distractions or any other type. Noisy distractions can seriously hamper any kind of direct communication that you are having with a person. A quiet environment is ideal for virtual work meetings. 

This proactive approach sets the stage for a focused and efficient virtual gathering, enabling participants to make the most of their time and achieve their objectives with confidence.

Know your meeting platform

It's essential to familiarize yourself with the specific features and functionalities of the meeting platforms you use, such as Zoom Meetings or Google Meet.

Understanding the intricacies of your chosen meeting platform enables you to navigate seamlessly through virtual meetings, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience for all participants.

From managing audio and video settings to utilizing screen sharing and chat functions effectively, mastering your meeting platform empowers you to make the most of every virtual interaction, facilitating seamless communication and productive collaboration on any virtual meeting platform. Knowing your channels of communication and the specific online meeting software is a basic hygiene check you must do while preparing for a video conference or meeting.

Come prepared with a meeting agenda

When it comes to virtual work meetings or video conferencing, one effective way to alleviate meeting anxiety and ensure a productive session is by coming prepared with a clear and concise meeting agenda.

This essential document outlines the topics to be discussed, sets the meeting objectives, and assigns key meeting roles. By having a well-defined agenda, participants can stay focused, contribute meaningfully, and make the most of the entire meeting, promoting a sense of structure and purpose in the virtual workspace.

Dive’s meeting agenda features allow you to send effective and actionable meeting agendas to your teammates. 


Share the meeting agenda with participants

Sharing the virtual meeting agenda along with the meeting invitation with participants is a crucial step in facilitating smooth and organized discussions. By distributing the meeting agenda ahead of time using meeting software or communication channels, all attendees can familiarize themselves with the topics and prepare any necessary materials or insights.

This practice is common courtesy and enhances the effectiveness of video meetings, as participants can come prepared, engage in informed discussions, and contribute to the meeting's goals with a clear understanding of the virtual meeting agenda.

Dress appropriately

In a one-on-one meeting or team meeting, it's important to dress appropriately and maintain a professional appearance, even though it's an online interaction. Your background, body language, and attire reflect your level of respect and engagement.

Dress as you would for an in-person meeting and ensure your virtual background is tidy and appropriate, setting a positive tone for the conversation. Pay attention to your body language and maintain eye contact through the camera, as these nonverbal cues contribute to effective communication and convey attentiveness and respect.

Ensure that your dress does not clash with any virtual backgrounds you might be using, which could be a distraction. You could try the background for video call beforehand to ensure that you're in the clear in your remote workspace.

Avoid multitasking

When participating in online meetings, it's crucial to avoid multitasking. Give your full attention to the meeting and refrain from engaging in other tasks or distractions. Multitasking can lead to reduced focus, lower productivity, and a lack of engagement with meeting attendees. By giving your undivided attention, you demonstrate respect for others' time and contributions, fostering a collaborative and efficient meeting environment. Remember, active listening and active participation go hand in hand, so prioritize being fully present in the discussion.

Macbook Pro displaying group of people

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Introduce members of the team

Introduce members of the team at the beginning of a virtual meeting to ensure everyone feels included and acknowledged. This helps create a sense of camaraderie and fosters a positive team environment, even in online settings. Take a moment to mention each participant's name, role, and any relevant information that can help establish connections. By introducing team members, you promote open communication, encourage collaboration, and establish a welcoming atmosphere that enhances engagement and productivity during the meeting.

Look at your camera and speak clearly

When participating in online meetings, it's important to direct your focus toward the camera and speak clearly. Looking at the camera simulates eye contact and gives the impression of active engagement, rather than appearing distracted or disinterested. Additionally, speaking clearly and articulating your thoughts ensures that your message is effectively conveyed to meeting attendees.

By maintaining visual contact and speaking with clarity, you enhance the overall communication experience and contribute to a more effective and engaging virtual meeting. Maintaining eye contact also helps you manage your body movement. This also gives everyone else body language cues that you are fully in the meeting.

Other body language cues you could use include sitting comfortably, sitting at a fair distance from the camera, and keeping your neck upright. Having a neutral or serious facial expression is also part of virtual meeting etiquette tips.

Don't Type on the Keyboard Constantly

During online meetings, avoid constantly typing on the keyboard. The sound of keystrokes can be disruptive and distracting to others, hindering effective communication. Instead, use the chat features in remote meetings in the meeting software to share brief messages or questions when necessary.

This way, you can actively participate without causing unnecessary noise or interruption. By being mindful of your keyboard usage, you create a more focused and respectful environment that allows for seamless interaction and discussion among meeting attendees.

While using chat boxes or the chat button within the call, you still need to be mindful of the amount of sound that you are making. 

Don't disrupt speakers

Disrupting speakers during virtual business meetings can hinder the flow of communication and impede productive discussions. It's important to wait for your turn to speak, actively listen to others, and avoid interrupting. Show common courtesy and allow each speaker to express their thoughts without interruption.

By practicing patience and respecting others' speaking time, you contribute to a respectful and collaborative meeting environment where all participants can freely share their ideas and perspectives.

Also, your mobile phone or other devices might unintentionally disrupt the meeting. Try to avoid phone calls or keep your cell phones on silent during calls. 

Record and Share Meeting Notes

Recording and sharing meeting notes after an online meeting is an effective way to ensure information is captured accurately and shared with all attendees. This practice helps in maintaining a clear record of decisions made, action items assigned, and important discussions held during the meeting.

By recording and sharing meeting notes, you promote transparency, and accountability, and provide a reference for future follow-up and implementation. This ensures that everyone stays on the same page and maximizes the value of the meeting.

Don't Leave Without Informing Others

It is considered good etiquette to inform others before leaving an online meeting. If you need to leave early or have to step away, use the chat window or raise your hand to let the host or moderator know. Informing others about your departure avoids confusion and helps the meeting flow smoothly without interruptions.

This common courtesy ensures that everyone is aware of the changes and allows the meeting to proceed without disruption or delays caused by sudden departures.


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