Posted by Ian Ballantine

In view of the fact that Zoom will continue to be with us for some time, I thought it timely that I remind members of some principles of Zoom etiquette. Like in any meeting, it's about respect and simple good manners.

I have endevoured to list some of the more common ones here and ask that members try to observe them.

As a rule, please don't assume that because it's a Zoom meeting that your behaviour should be any different than if you were meeting in person.

  • Dress: Dress appropriately and fully.  Dress like you would in a normal meeting, whether that be a t-shirt, a suit, or anything in between.

  • Identifier: Please ensure you are properly identified. by your full name on the screen.

  • Background: If you are using a virtual background, please try to make it fairly neutral or solid color. If it is a picture, make sure it doesn’t distract others from the meeting. Zoom now allows you to simply blur your "real" background.

  • Joining on time: Make sure to always be punctual to meetings, even if they are just on your phone.  Joining a zoom meeting late can be distracting to others, and can come off as unprofessional and rude.

  • Muting: Always mute yourself when you're not talking, just to make sure that your background noise doesn’t distract everyone else in the meeting. It can also save you from some embarrassing situations. Being on mute is courteous to everyone else in the meeting, since your background noise doesn’t distract or interrupt anyone, and your computer won’t be the cause of a loud echo.

  • Driving: Remember that a zoom meeting is still a meeting. Set aside time for your meeting and make sure to attend them in an appropriate setting. If you do happen to be on zoom while driving, please mute yourself, drive responsibly, and focus on the road.

  • Eating: Make sure to eat before your zoom meetings, so you aren’t tempted to do so during them. Eating on a zoom call can be distracting, and can turn out pretty embarrassing if you end up spilling on yourself.

  • Joining in: Engage in the conversation, and make comments or ask questions throughout the meeting when it is an appropriate time to. (refer below the use of Zoom Hand)

  • Lighting: Sit in good lighting, preferably natural.  Sit by your window and open the blinds.  Natural sunlight will help your coworkers see you better, and give you a boost of vitamin D. Be careful not to have a bright light behind you. Just look at your own image in the Zoom meeting and adjust accordingly.

  • Connection: Make sure you have a strong connection, so you don’t freeze or glitch during your meeting. Note that you can easily re-join a meeting if your internet drops out unexpectedly.

  • Attracting the attention of the host: Use the "Zoom Hand" if you wish to speak - refer here. (note to Chair-people: always have the Participant's window open so you can see easily those with their Zoom Hands up.) Please do not just start talking, especially if it's over someone who is already talking.

  • Using Chat: Only use Chat if really necessary. Please don't use the Chat facility for personal messages or any messaging that could wait till after the meeting. It is distracting for everyone.

  • Camera view: Ensure that your face is in clear view and try to look into your camera when you are speaking, just as you would if you were speaking to someone in person.

  • Leaving the Room: Try to remain in the meeting. If you have to leave, temporarily turn off your video.  

I would welcome any further suggestions or comments.