Etiquette for Zoom Meetings: 15 Dos and Don’ts for Remote Workers

April 03, 2023

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As working from home continues post-pandemic, it’s a must for remote employees to learn and practice proper video conferencing etiquette. Stay connected with coworkers and maintain a great remote work environment with these 15 Zoom meeting tips and tricks!

The Importance of Video Conferencing Etiquette

Remote work is here to stay. Yet even though it’s now a norm for most organizations, the interactions between a remote team are not quite the same as personal ones. One of the ways remote teams stay connected and avoid social isolation is by conducting regular video meetings.

However, holding meetings with your colleagues using tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts calls for specific practices you may not have done before in a personal setting. Establishing and following proper etiquette for video calls helps organizations remain focused and productive even when everyone is working together virtually.

15 Zoom Tips and Tricks for Virtual Meetings

Effectively navigate the ins and outs of working remotely by following these Zoom call best practices and work-from-home tips.

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What to Do in a Video Call

Dress Appropriately and Be Presentable

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If you’ve been working remotely for a while, you might have already begun to adopt a morecasual work attire. After all, who’s gonna see you in your pajamas, right?

As it turns out, dressing up can affect your behavior at work.One study found that people who wear formal clothing increase their abstract thinking, and the effect is related to feelings of power.

While you don’t need to wear office attire when working from home, it’s important to dress appropriately for meetings. If you’re meeting with your teammates to brainstorm project ideas, wearing casual clothes (like thisWork From Home t-shirt) is totally fine. But if you’re meeting with clients or higher-ups, you should definitely choose more professional attire.

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Set The Right Environment for Your Zoom Call

As the meeting host, you can control the Zoom call’s settings. Set the appropriate participant permissions based on the kind of meeting you’re having. If you’re holding a town hall, you may want to keep the participants on mute and restrict them from sharing their screen, but leave the chat feature open for questions.

If you need to record the meeting, inform other participants beforehand and explain why. Giving this courtesy shows that you respect everyone’s privacy.

Working from home may sometimes require joining video calls from a non-professional environment. This is where virtual backgrounds come in handy. Choose an appropriate design or simply blur your background to avoid distractions.

Don’t forget the importance of good lighting! It helps people see you better during the call. Try to keep the light source in front of you, so your face won’t appear shadowy.

Test Audio and Video Settings Before Meetings

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Picture this: You prepared all week for a big client presentation. But when it was your turn to speak, your microphone suddenly failed, and your video feed distorted. This panic-inducing moment could have been avoided if only you had tested your audio and video settings beforehand and ensured they worked well.

It’s also good to check your internet connection before hopping on video calls, as it can make or break your meetings’ quality. Check your device’s battery and ensure there’s a power source nearby that you can plug into.

Investing in quality technology, particularly noise-canceling headphones, doesn't hurt. This helps reduce background noise, increase speech clarity, and improves focus.

Prepare Your Files in Advance

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If you’re presenting during the meeting, prepare all the materials before joining the call. Have files such asspreadsheets and documents ready, and if you’re planning to share your screen, open the tabs with the information you need.

Use Your Device’s Camera

If you’re leading the meeting, it’s best practice to turn your camera on. This allows you to build rapport and engage the participants better. Maintain eye contact with the person you’re speaking to by positioning your device’s camera at eye level and looking directly at it.

As a participant, you can keep your camera off. However, you will limit your interactions as you won’t be able to provide additional context to what you’re saying without your body language.

Avoid using your camera as a mirror to check yourself out. You canhide the Self View on your screen to steer clear of this common habit. And if you need to step away from your computer during a meeting, don’t leave the camera on.

Introduce The Participants and Establish Ground Rules

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Avoid awkward silences. Break the ice by introducing yourself and everyone on the call. It’s also important to set ground rules and structure for your meeting. Let participants know when to ask questions and remind everyone about your meeting time window.

If you’re leading, maintain the call by enforcing the ground rules. Keep participants focused and engaged to ensure maximum productivity.

Don’t forget to make time for bonding sessions with your team! Do something that makes everyone feel connected, like playing team games or catching up with each other’s lives. Build a supportive community within your organization.

Stay on Mute Until It’s Your Turn to Speak

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Keeping the microphone on is the number one source of embarrassment during Zoom calls. That’s why you should keep it on mute until it’s your turn to speak.

Use theRaise Hand feature to avoid talking over someone else when you want to speak. Don’t forget to unmute your microphone before speaking unless you intend to hear a “You’re on mute” comment.

When speaking, silence all distractions and pause regularly, so participants can still follow even if there's a lag in the internet connection.

Let Everyone Contribute to the Conversation

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Bring everyone’s voice into the conversation. Call to attention participants’ feedback and questions or pass the ball of conversation between group members, so others can share their thoughts. Be respectful by listening to each speaker, and above all… avoid arguing.

Make sure to record the decisions you made during the meeting and create a to-do list for the next steps the group will take.

What Not to Do in a Video Call

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Avoid Sharing the Meeting Link and Password

It’s best practice to limit the number of attendees to keep the meeting streamlined. Don’t share the meeting link and password with anyone not invited to the call. If you need to invite others, get the host’s permission first.

Let the host know if you were invited to a video meeting that’s not necessary for you to join. It’s okay not to attend optional meetings, especially if you have a reason not to.

Don’t Make Participants Wait for You

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This is particularly important if you’re the host. Log in early to accommodate everyone on time, even those who get on the call earlier. Don’t be the cause of a delay that throws everyone’s schedules off.

Don’t Stray From The Meeting Agenda

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Follow the agenda set for the meeting to avoid straying from the topic and to finish your meeting on time. Be cautious and discreet in sharing confidential or sensitive information—ask for the appropriate permission before divulging the details in a virtual meeting.

Don’t Drop Off The Meeting Early Without Prior Notice

Joining a meeting late or leaving early can disrupt the flow and distract participants. You may also miss an opportunity to address important matters. 

Always let the organizer know if you need to drop off early, so they can plan the agenda accordingly. Say goodbye before you leave the call, so your colleagues won’t be left hanging or waiting for your return.

Avoid Multitasking

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Be in the present moment. Multitasking can cause you to miss important information. It’s also unprofessional. Your inattentiveness can distract or demotivate, so avoidsending emails, browsing, or chatting when on a call. Zoom meetings are still professional meetings, so prioritize them.

Don’t Eat or Smoke While on Call

Even if your camera is off, eating or smoking during a call is still a big no-no. People can still hear you if you forget to turn off your mic. Not to mention it’s disrespectful to others.

Take your meals or your lunch break right before your virtual meeting. You can drink water during the call, but don’t let it be a cause of distraction to your co-participants.

Don’t Start Software Updates Right Before Meetings

When you get a notification asking you to update your app or software to the latest version, don’t start it before you join a meeting! You can always postpone it until the end of the day, so it doesn’t disrupt your work.

Work From Home Tips to Stay Productive

Staying productive while working remotely is not an easy thing to do. Here are practical work-from-home tips that can help you thrive in a remote work environment:

  • Establish an early morning routine: Let natural light into your home, get some fresh air, and have a good breakfast, so you’re alert when you begin your work.
  • Prioritize your well-being: Have a proper sleep schedule, follow a healthy diet, make time for regular exercise, and take frequent breaks from your work schedule.
  • Be intentional with work-life balance: Limit your working hours, protect your personal life (e.g., have a different phone number for work), and spend time with friends and family.

Make the Work From Home Life More Fun!

Turn long work hours and boring virtual meetings into a fun time with your remote team! Wear ourWorkplace Humor apparel to your next Zoom meeting to break the ice and start a great conversation with your coworkers!


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