Gone are the days when meetings in a chosen venue were the only way to contact and meet with co-workers working remotely. Today, everything has become virtual. From virtual teams to virtual meetings, the shift to everything online has changed how people conduct meetings or even team-building exercises today.
According to a stat, Americans spend eight hours on average per week participating in a virtual meeting. In addition, more than 65% of employees believe video conferencing is the best way to engage a team.
There is no doubt that a virtual meeting is an excellent way to connect with remote stakeholders, co-workers, and clients. However, due to obstacles such as not setting an agenda, software issues, and lack of communication, conducting a virtual meeting can come with its challenges.
Thankfully, apps such as CoffeePals make it convenient to schedule, conduct, and enact ground rules for virtual meetings. Let’s explore 10 of our most important ground rules to ensure you make the most of your meetings.
What Is a Virtual Meeting and What Are Its Benefits?
A virtual meeting is a type of communication that helps people from different locations use their internet connections and meet in a virtual room for discussions or to establish better bonds. People use virtual meetings to collaborate with their workforce, meet friends and families, and experience teletherapy.
Conducting a virtual meeting is far better than selecting a venue, sending out invites, and then asking people to gather in a place for a meet-up. That said, specific virtual meeting rules are imperative to follow. Online meeting etiquette for attendees helps create a positive environment so that people can safely collaborate online.
So, even if you use CoffeePals to connect with your team members or train a new worker, a smooth and safe meeting environment ensures that your employees don’t hesitate to join the session in the future as well. Below we will discuss ten ground rules for virtual meetings to get more out of a session and simultaneously make a solid impression on other participants.
10 Virtual Meeting Rules
These virtual meeting etiquettes can make your online meeting more enjoyable and smooth.
Make Sure to Have an Agenda for All Your Meetings
If you don’t have a certain meeting agenda, you may see yourself and your team members losing track of the main objective. A plan ensures that all the points are adequately discussed in the meeting and within a reasonable time.
Having an agenda also means that all your attendees are well-informed enough to prepare and participate in the meeting adequately. If you are a participant, you can request the host for an agenda.
Once the host shares the plan, you can design your speaking materials that match the main objective of the meeting. You can also jot down relevant questions to make the session more enjoyable. If you aren’t aware of the schedule beforehand, you may give meeting attendees a weak impression and waste the time of other participants.
The best way is to use Google Docs to share the agenda and take notes. Make the notes-taking exercise a team effort, ensuring no relevant point gets missed.
Choose an Excellent Software for Video Conferencing
The app also makes it easy for team leaders to conduct meetings to train new employees. Getting started is super easy; simply create a team, install it in Microsoft Teams, and then invite the participants to join.
One of the best things about this app is that it is compatible with various devices and runs smoothly every time. So, using this platform won't be an issue whether a team member is sitting in an urban city or a rural area.
Join the Virtual Meeting on Time
If you are a professional person, make sure to join the meeting on time. This is one of the most crucial ground rules for virtual meetings.
A late participant is often perceived as undependable. Besides, they may end up missing some significant points of discussion.
If you are a host, time management may be quite imperative in your case. If you are late, the attendees might have to wait for you before you finally join the meeting. This can easily disrupt the entire schedule and even cause delays.
Begin With Introducing Yourself
It is always wise to start a meeting by introducing yourself and encouraging the participants to follow suit. If you are the host, you can name the participant and ask them to give a brief introduction. This can include their name, job designation, hobbies and interests, and any work-related information.
Starting a virtual meeting with this step makes it easy to maintain the conversation flow and helps all participants know about each other. This way, they can easily discuss different things while attending a training session online.
All Participants Should Keep Their Microphones on Mute
If you are a participant and have nothing to say, a primary ground rule for virtual training is to keep your microphone on mute. Respecting the trainer and saving them from all the distractions from the attendees is imperative.
Maintaining a quiet environment during a meeting is essential, but some participants might be sitting in locations with lots of background noises. In that case, muting the microphone is the best way to keep the meeting going smoothly.
As a basic online meeting etiquette for attendees, you should follow this rule to create a professional environment. You might think you can easily attend a virtual meeting by consuming your breakfast or writing an email, but such things only lead to distractions, and you might miss specific crucial points.
Multitasking during virtual meetings might also prevent you from participating in the session appropriately. If you are on the other side of the table and hosting the session, conducting other activities while addressing the participants may give a wrong impression. Always ensure that your meeting schedules don’t clash with your tasks.
One of the significant virtual meeting rules is to dress appropriately. You may wonder about this rule’s importance, especially when you aren’t sitting in a professional setting. Even if you are in your room or in a cafe, proper dress code helps you to give a professional image of yourself to the other meeting members.
A meeting, whether conducted face-to-face or virtually, is a formal situation, and you should make sure to cover yourself adequately, as you may do while working in an office. Also, your clothing shouldn’t disrespect anyone or make other participants uncomfortable.
Take Breaks, If Required
Another important aspect of virtual meeting etiquette is to take a break if the meeting agenda is too long. If you are the host, add five to six minutes of break in the plan so that the participants are aware of that.
A break is a great way to prevent the participants from getting bored and give them time to relax or reset for the next part of the meeting. If you are a participant and your host hasn’t planned a break, you can request them to add one.
This is a crucial online meeting etiquette for attendees. A responsive attendee makes the meeting more interesting and initiates better communication between participants.
As a participant, ensure your body language is always on point. For instance, a smile or a nod shows that you are well-engaged. Similarly, certain emojis can make conversations fun without disrespecting other members.
To be responsive, you can also prepare specific questions before going into a virtual meeting. This way, you can easily contribute to the discussion. If you are willing to engage or participate, other participants will do that, too, resulting in an informative and positive virtual session.
Following all ground rules for virtual training is vital to running the entire session smoothly. Similarly, when bidding farewell, leaving reasonably is also essential. It is always wise to say goodbye and say a short thank you to every participant or member of the meeting.
In emergency situations where you plan to leave early, just add an explanation and a brief goodbye in the chat instead of interrupting the training. But always let others know that you are going early. The act shows consideration and the meeting’s importance for you.
Conduct Productive Virtual Meetings With CoffeePals
CoffeePals is a perfect way to build strong connections in your team. The platform allows your team members to engage and grow deeper relationships through virtual meetings. Your team members can meet over a video conference to chat and have a coffee while following all the virtual meeting rules.
This app also helps you create a mentorship program so individuals can grow and learn together. CoffeePals is more than just conducting spontaneous meetings. It has many unique features, such as a coffee lottery, introductions, and coffee maker icebreaker questions for a fantastic experience.
If you want to build a strong connection between your team members, get started and begin conducting productive meetings.