Gotomeeting.com and smallbiztrends.com offer great information that helps workers transition to conducting meetings remotely. We’ve taken some key advice from both sources to offer some basic best practices for UNCG staff. However, we encourage you to explore the resources in depth on your own.
1. Don’t type during meetings.
The sound of typing is distracting in online meetings because a laptop’s internal microphone is inches away from the keyboard. Typing also takes your attention away from the meeting.
Best practice: Use a headset and take notes with pen and paper.
2. Dress appropriately.
Working remotely is still “going to work.”
Best practice: Dress how you would dress if you were in the office…and brush your hair!
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated home office, you should prepare a workspace that is free of clutter and provides good lighting.
Best practice: Sit at a desk or table near a window in a home office, dining room, or kitchen.
4. Provide electronic copies of documents.
If you plan to review or refer to documents in a meeting or presentation, send copies to the meeting attendees before the meeting so they can follow along.
Best practice: Display your desktop during the meeting to guide attendees through the document(s).
5. Shhh! Be quiet.
Background noise disrupts meetings. Shut down everything that makes noise that can be picked up by a microphone–televisions, radios, even washing machines. If other people are present in your out-of-office workspace, ask them to be mindful of your meeting time and to be quiet.
Best practice: Mute your microphone when you’re not talking…and let the dogs out!
6. Speak up!
Most web conferencing tools make a sound when an attendee enters the virtual meeting room. If no one is talking when you enter, say hello and introduce yourself so that people can identify you. Remember, not everyone’s volume settings are the same. So, project and speak clearly.
Best practice: Call attendance before starting meetings. When a late-comer arrives, take a moment to acknowledge that person’s arrival.
7. Stay present.
People who look at their phones and computers while in in-person meetings are distracting. The same is true for virtual meetings. People can tell when you’re not listening.
Best practice: Listen. Be appropriately responsive. When using video, sit up straight, be still, and stay focused on the screen, even when you’re not talking.