Online Meeting Etiquette

Online Meeting Etiquette

One of the things you’ve likely encountered from working from home is the constant online meetings. While they were fun and casual at first, they gradually became a necessity for a lot of businesses. This meant that from fun and casual, companies all around the world had to make their virtual calls more professional – especially when it came to clients.

This article was written by Paula Candelaria.

While some companies have created their own protocol for online meetings, some have left much to be said on their employees’ etiquettes must adapt to create a more conducive working environment. And, same can be said for those who are self-employed, selling products and services, or even freelancing. Luckily, we’ve rounded up five tips to help elevate your next online meeting from fun and casual to more professional and productive.

1. Dress Professionally

While most of us probably work in loungewear, you have to remember that online meetings are an entirely different scenario. In most cases, you’ll likely be talking to your boss or even prospective clients. And, just like in physical meetings, you have to remember that making an impression with your clothing is just as important. After all, you don’t want to be reporting important information in a tattered intramural t-shirt from high school…

On that note, make sure to wear what you would typically wear in regular physical meetings. Opt to put on makeup, fix your hair, and even brush your teeth as you don’t want to be caught talking with bits of your lunch still in your mouth. Basically, dress for occasion and style for the goal.

2. Try to Have a Clean Background

Probably one of the most prevalent things you’ll see in most online meetings is distracting backgrounds. In fact, a quick search on google can give a whole host of funny articles with pets, toddlers, and even partners creating scenes during virtual calls with important clients. While this may be humorous at first, it can get old quickly.


Likewise, messy backgrounds like a cluttered room or a bustling kitchen can be very distracting. As such, it would be wise to find secluded rooms in your house and opt to use a white or blank wall as a background. And, if you’re working with small spaces, you can quickly download from the numerous Zoom or other video call software backgrounds. These can easily provide an easy way to mask out your partner eating their lunch or your kids playing behind you.

3. Use a Headset and Don’t Forget to Mute

I think this is something we all struggled with. After all, nobody was prepared to move from physical meetings to virtual ones. But, purchasing a good headset can do wonders in improving productivity, propensity for active listening, and voice quality. After all, nobody wants to hear a scratchy or tinny sound while you’re talking. And, I mean, nobody.

Similarly, muting yourself when you’re not talking is also very important. You don’t want your team to hear your family talking or weird noises in the background while your boss is talking. So, don’t forget to press mute and only turn on your mic when it’s your time to talk.

4. Position Yourself in a Proper Angle

Framing is something most of us are probably not familiar with. But, when it comes to online meetings, finding an appropriate angle is just as important as your background and clothes. This will not only help put yourself in a more flattering light, but it can also improve first impressions with important client meetings and reduce distractions for more team-based calls.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that your camera is positioned slightly, tilting down, and captures at least your chest upwards. Likewise, giving enough headspace both vertically and horizontally can do wonders in making your virtual meeting profile more professional and, of course, flattering all around.

5. Make Sure to Have Stable Internet Connection

This is a no-brainer but somehow often missed. While we can’t fault those who don’t have access to a stable internet connection completely, those who can find workarounds should definitely try to explore their options. For one, informing your family members or housemates that you’re going to have an online meeting can help. This can deter them from taking up all the bandwidth with video games and streaming.

And, if you’re really hard-pressed with bandwidth, you can opt to use mobile data. This will likely give you faster speeds as you’re not sharing it with anybody. However, this only applies if you actually have a good cellular signal in your home. On the off chance that none of this works, simply inform your team or clients ahead of time and opt to turn off your camera to lower latency in audio.

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1 Response

  1. ThrowAwayShot619 says:

    If you honestly think that this WFH setup will last that long then jokes on you. You’ll be forced back to your offices soon.

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