Zoom Etiquette: Rules to Live by for Video Meetings

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Mar 30, 2021

Mar 30, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Working from home while cuddled in a blanket on your couch is nice. Learning how to use new technology so you can stay in touch with the rest of your team... not so nice. 

Zoom meetings have become the new normal during Covid, but there are some pretty clean dos and don'ts when it comes to how you're supposed to act during these calls. 

But don't let yourself stress. 

We're put together this guide to show you the Zoom etiquette rules you should stick to during your next meeting, so make sure you keep reading below! 

Show up (Or Enter the Meeting) on Time 

When you're working from home in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, it can be hard to keep track of the time (especially if you're sharing your workplace, a.k.a. living room, with children). But you should never use that as an excuse to show up late during a zoom meeting. 

Everyone in that meeting has to wait for you to arrive before they can start. If you show up late, you're wasting everyone's time. 

Keep Your Camera On 

You might not enjoy looking at your own face during the meeting, but you simply can't use a phone or yourself or an avatar as a replacement. Unless otherwise instructed, keep your camera turned on at all times. 

If you're hosting the meeting, encourage everyone to turn on their camera. 

This is one of the most important rules for Zoom meetings. 

It's difficult to know what employees are really doing during a meeting if their cameras are turned off. While they might be listening, they could also be doing other things, which could take their focus away from the topic at hand. 

Keeping the cameras on will make sure everyone stays on task so you stay productive and finish the meeting as soon as possible. 

Set up in Front of a Clean Background 

If you can, position your computer in front of a black, white wall. If that's not possible, do your best to make sure anything behind you is clean and organized. 

Seem like an unimportant detail?

Trying to deliver a presentation in front of a cluttered living room will be distracting for the listeners. They might spend more time thinking about what that weird bundle of fabric on the couch is (blankets, clothes, unfolded towels?) than what you're saying. 

You should also do your best to keep your family members or pets out of the screen. Seeing a child run through the camera or a cat jump onto the keyboard might be funny, but it can lead to interruptions. 

Dress Appropriately 

Just because you're at home doesn't mean you get to attend a professional work meeting in your PJs. A good piece of zoom meeting etiquette is to wear the same wardrobe during the video that you would in person.

Depending on your company rules, you may be able to dress down a bit, but always keep yourself looking clean and put together. 

Introduce Yourself 

If you're attending a meeting with people you haven't met or worked with before, you should take a moment to introduce yourself. Other people might be able to see your name displayed on Zoon during the video call, but that isn't the same thing as a friendly introduction. 

If you're the host, plan a segment for introductions at the beginning of the meeting. This will create a more welcoming environment and will even improve engagement later in the conversation. 

Mute Your Microphone When You Aren't Talking 

Always keep your microphone muted when you aren't speaking. If you forget, the host or other people in the meeting will likely remind you to turn it off, but this doesn't mean they're being rude. 

Every person has some kind of background noise in their location. It might be small, but it's there. If everyone kept their microphones on at all times, those small sounds would gather into a loud distraction. This will also help the meeting stay on track if you have noisy kids or pets in the house, loud neighbors, or a busy street outside. 

You should also do your best to be as quiet as possible when you're speaking. Don't rifle through items on your desk or fidget with things. While the sounds might seem quiet to you, the microphone and pick them up and make them louder to your listeners, which can make it difficult to hear what you're saying. 

Look at the Camera When You Speak 

It's an easy mistake to look at yourself when you're speaking during a Zoom meeting. You want to make sure your appearance is professional and put together. 

Don't do this. 

If you look at yourself when you speak, your eyes won't be positioned toward the camera. This can make it look like you're staring at something off-screen, so always stare directly into the camera when you talk. 

Don't Multitask 

Multitasking won't help you get projects done any faster. Even if it does speed things up, it will negatively impact quality. 

Besides, you aren't fooling anyone. Everyone can tell when you're multitasking, and it can come across as rude, so keep your attention on the meeting. 

Don't Leave Early 

You should stick around until the host has wrapped everything up and dismissed you. If you're the host, make sure you stay logged on until everyone else has left. 

Did you just finish an interview on Zoom?

It's a good idea to follow up with a thank you email to show your appreciation. Since Zoom interviews can feel a bit more distant than traditional interviews, this will also show your interest in the position and make you stand out from the other candidates. 

Zoom Etiquette That'll Leave a Lasting Impression During Your Next Meeting 

The next time you jump on a video meeting, make sure you follow these Zoom etiquette tips. This will ensure you get the most out of the meeting, and it will give your bosses, coworkers, or employees a good impression. 

Want to learn some other work-from-home tips?

You don't have to look far! Make sure you head over to the rest of our blog to find more tricks that'll help you stay productive during Covid season!