August 6, 2020

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Video Meetings

With constrained internet bandwidth, you could even take the extra step and turn off your camera by default until you want to speak to the group. There’s no practical value in people watching you silently look at your camera.

Our families are more important than anyone, but that doesn’t mean our colleagues want to see our partners in their bathrobes, our cats sitting on keyboards or our children throwing toys.

That’s why it’s important to take a video call in a place where you can draw boundaries, if possible. The simplest physical boundary is a room with a door, which can be shut when you are on a video call.

Many of us who are now being required to work from home never had much physical space to begin with. But there are workarounds.

I lack a home office and work on my dining table. On video calls, I have made it a habit to point my web camera at a blank wall, away from common areas like the kitchen and hallway, and my earbuds are a visual cue for being on a video call.

The onus is on managers to make virtual meetings concise and engaging. That was already true for in-person meetings, but for virtual meetings, setting an agenda is even more crucial, said Ms. Quinn, who managed remote employees at pharmaceutical companies before starting the Solopreneur Specialist, a website for remote workers.

“You’re in private, and it’s easy to drift off,” she said.

Managers can take a number of approaches to make videoconferences more organized. For one, they can ask each employee ahead of the meeting to plan to talk about something specific, so that everyone has something to do and can stay engaged.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/technology/personaltech/online-video-meetings-etiquette-virus.html

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