By Alexis Paige

It only took a pandemic for the meeting loving individuals to be forced to put information into an email. But, that won’t stop other meetings from happening! If you’re fortunate enough to still have your 9-to-5, side hustle, or anything in between, you’ll most likely end up on a Zoom, Hangouts, or Join call.

If you’re not used to it, there are some rules that make everyone’s life easier. Here are some main ones:

Figure out your mic
Nothing is more annoying than hearing the echo of your own voice through someone’s laptop speaker. This usually results in that person having to stay muted the whole time, so unless you don’t want to speak at all, figure out what works for you and your tech. Sometimes headphones fix all issues while other times they add in an echo depending on your software of choice. Test everything out and then stick to what works!

If you’re typing, mute your mic
Click. Clack. Click. Clack. It can get clicking irritating. So if you plan to type be sure to mute your mic so no one else has to hear your led fingers jab into your not-so-brilliant butterfly keyboard. This also makes it less obvious that you’re Slacking your work-wife funny gifs during a meeting.

Make sure your background isn’t distracting
If you have never expected your coworkers to get a glimpse into your home, well, it’s time to start moving things around. Anime posters, collectable bugs in shadow boxes, or your giant pile of laundry should be put out of web camera view so others can pay attention to what you’re saying, not just what they’re seeing.

Don’t talk over each other
Most meetings have that moment when everyone wants to speak the loudest. Don’t be that person. No one will be able to hear anything. Instead, try to be patient and let everyone get their turn. Any meetings, in person or not, should have a leader directing the agenda. This is especially important when everyone goes remote because that individual can make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.

Have a shared document or chat
Since you can’t physically pass a document, flip your laptop around, or draw out an idea, have a shared document (or Slack channel) to be able to send things over quickly to keep everyone on the same page. This way people aren’t fighting over sharing their screen and notes are taken in real time instead of a follow up email afterwards.

Going remote has its perks. For instance, are you wearing sweatpants? The world will never know. Well, unless you stand up. Try to keep a positive attitude through this pandemic period, and don’t get frustrated with your co-workers as they try to learn video etiquette too. They may not have read our tips!

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