While most employees have probably been in a conference call or meeting at some point in their careers, remote meetings are now the norm rather than the exception.
If you’re having trouble making sense of this workplace practice, follow these tips to make sure you don’t end up with egg on your face at the next conference call or remote meeting:
Test your Wi-Fi before the meeting
There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out about a WiFi connectivity problem just as a meeting is starting.
If troubleshooting your WiFi router during a remote meeting annoys you, imagine how frustrating it is for your colleagues to sit through the process?
Check your connection at least 10 minutes before the meeting in case something needs to be fixed.
Stick to the agenda
It’s easy to get sidetracked during a remote meeting. Someone might have started off addressing one thing and then went off on a tangent.
This can be prevented by going through the agenda before a meeting. If a meeting is arranged to discuss business insurance claims or finding insurance to suit your budget, prepare yourself to speak about that, and only that.
Don’t work on something else during the meeting
Let’s say you’re chairing a meeting with colleagues in the office. How would you feel if one of them whipped out their laptop and started working on another task while you were speaking?
You’d be justifiably offended. The same principle applies to remote meetings.
And even if your colleagues can’t tell you’re working, you can’t be fully present in the meeting if you’re working on something else.
Don’t interrupt someone while they’re speaking
While this is also advised for face-to-face encounters, it’s especially true for online meetings. Besides being good manners, it also saves a lot of time.
Sometimes there’s a slight audio delay during remote meetings, so when you interrupt someone to add on to their statement, they might only catch what you said a second later.
This could degenerate into a “no, you go first” scenario. If you would like to comment on what someone said, you could use the text chat function if it’s an online meeting or wait for them to finish their statement before you say something. If your meeting software offers a “raise hand” feature, use it!
Make sure your phone is on silent
It may be taking place from the comfort of your living room, but this is still a meeting.
You wouldn’t let your phone beep if you were meeting in person, so there’s no need to do it when you’re meeting online or on the phone.
Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking
The background noise that barely registers on your radar might be distracting to everyone else in the meeting.
It could be the sound of a TV in the other room, subtle knocking of raindrops on a window, or the hum of construction outdoors. While you’re waiting for your turn to speak, it’s best to mute your microphone.
While remote working may come with new practices to master, you can’t deny that it gives you a bit more freedom to live your way. That’s definitely a fair trade-off.
MiWay is a licensed insurer & FSP 33970. Ts & Cs apply.
This article was published in partnership with MiWay.