If you are working or attending school remotely, you are probably familiar with Zoom! This excellent program allows you to communicate with others and see your group's smiling faces. While it's no substitute for human interaction, it's a great way to encourage communication and team building while away from the school or workplace. Because there is a screen in front of you, there is a certain level of distance that you may feel, which allows you to do things that you typically wouldn't dream of in person, like wearing pajama pants or texting off-screen. While you might think people don't notice, they actually do. Keep reading to discover some helpful tips and tricks to ensure that you are maintaining proper Zoom etiquette.
Keep the Camera on the Whole Time
We get it; there are certain days when you probably don't feel camera ready, and it's ok to opt-out on those particular occasions. But, for the most part, you should always have your camera on. Zoom's whole point is to see each other; otherwise, you could just do a simple phone call. Plus, the speaker will have a hard time gauging their audience or even telling if people are absorbing the information if they can't see your faces. If you need to briefly turn off your camera, make sure your picture is professional and not distracting.
Set Up a Speaking System
Let's be honest; it's awkward speaking up in a Zoom meeting, especially if you were never one to raise your hand or typically engage in conversations in person. You don't want to risk the messy situation where you speak over someone else, and then you both go back and forth about who goes first. Simply try a few different options and see what works best for you. If your boss or teacher looks out for raised hands, keep your hand up until they call on you; if that feels awkward, you could type in the chatbox that you have something to add and wait for them to address it. Or, if it's clear the speaker is almost done speaking, wait until they've finished, then unmute yourself to show that you are about to speak.
Mute Yourself Unless You're Speaking
Zoom shows the speaker as the person who is speaking the loudest. So, if you are crunching on a bag of chips or sneezing, you might just get shown on the screen. As they often say, it's better safe than sorry, so keep yourself muted until you are ready to speak; this is a great way to avoid confusion and allow the speaker to feel like they have the floor. Plus, no one wants to be the embarrassed person who keeps sniffling on the call or talking to their cat.
Zoom is going to be around for a while, and the sooner we learn to abide by the rules and exemplify etiquette, the more effective our remote communication will be. Do you have any questions or additional tips for mastering Zoom calls? Please share them with us in the comments below!