18 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Guidelines for 2023

As we continue to work remotely, some of the etiquette guidelines for virtual meetings have changed. This guide covers the 18 virtual meeting rules you should follow.

Ever since virtual meetings became the new norm, we struggled to learn the do’s and don’ts of Zoom together. But as we move beyond the days of lockdown and into a hybrid world of work, some of the things we learned to do or not do back in 2020 have changed. 

As work-from-home and hybrid schedules continue to be the norm for many companies, maintaining proper video conferencing etiquette is essential for the workplace. Keep reading to learn the current etiquette of video meetings. 

What should you not do during a virtual meeting?

During the switch to remote work in 2020, most of us quickly learned some of the more significant Zoom faux pas. Whether you’ve forgotten what those are or never had the misfortune of accidentally making one of these mistakes, keep reading to see what to avoid in your next meeting. 

1. Not checking settings

Whether you had never touched your settings before or perfectly curated the Settings menu, we recommend double-checking everything before joining your call. Updates can change default settings and revert some older settings options. 

While you can quickly change some settings during your call, things like screen sharing require an app reset. Don’t force your entire meeting to wait while you update settings, do it first. 

2. Not checking your video before joining

If you don’t use a virtual background on Zoom, there is always a chance something could be behind you that might not be the most professional. Before joining a meeting, preview your video and ensure a professional background. 

3. Stare at yourself

We are all probably guilty of spending entire Zoom calls staring at our own video box. Make sure you engage with everyone and pay attention to the discussion rather than watching yourself. 

4. Join the meeting late

And by late, we mean at the scheduled time. It’s best practice to join the waiting room a minute or two early, giving you a chance to ensure there are no technical difficulties before beginning.

Never join a virtual meeting late
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

5. Jump right in

Once everyone is on the call, don’t just immediately get to work. Instead, make sure you take a moment to address everyone and say hello, and be sure to introduce anyone who may not have met previously. The beginning of a meeting is the perfect time to take a moment or two and break the ice. 

6. Take notes

This might sound counterintuitive, but we don’t recommend taking notes during meetings. Not only is taking notes distracting for you, but it can also lead to slower, less productive meetings and distract others as they listen to you type. Instead, try recording your meetings.

7. Invite unnecessary people

Avoid inviting anyone who doesn’t absolutely need to be present. Try to keep meetings contained to only necessary participants and offer a brief summary to anyone who might need it once the meeting is over. 

What is proper virtual meeting etiquette?

Sometimes just avoiding the don’ts of meeting etiquette isn’t enough. Make sure your virtual meetings run smoothly with these tips. 

8. Say Hi

As everyone enters the virtual meeting room, take a moment to say hello. Virtual meetings often lack the small talk and camaraderie of in-person meetings. By setting aside the first minute or two of your meeting to introduce everyone in the room, you can break the ice and help everyone feel more comfortable. 

Introduce everyone at the begining of the meeting

9. Prepare

While virtual meetings have become commonplace, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. Practice your presentation skills to prepare for virtual meetings. 

Even the best speakers in the world practice their presentations. Learn the communication skills that made Steve Jobs a world-class communicator.  

10. Keep it brief 

We all know the “this should have been an email” meetings. Don’t be the one who keeps scheduling long meetings and wasting everyone’s time. Cap meetings at 30 minutes to an hour. 

11. Dress the part

Just like meetings in the office, how you dress is dependent on the meeting. While the dress code for many meetings has become more relaxed, that may not always be the case. 

Regardless of the dress code for your virtual call, you should always follow this one rule: avoid stripes and small patterns as they can become distorted in the camera. 

12. Include pauses

One significant aspect of virtual meetings is the speed they can offer. But be careful of being too efficient. Take a few pauses to ensure everyone is on the same page and allow others to jump into the conversation as necessary. 

13. Test your lighting 

Lighting can be tricky in most home offices. Overhead lights could be too harsh, and window placement isn’t always ideal. If possible, adjust your primary lighting source to be in front of you, and consider a cheap ring light to improve lighting even more. 

Always test lighitng before joining a meeting

14. Stay on mute 

Have you ever been on a call where someone is unmuted and loudly munching on chips? Background noise can be incredibly frustrating and distracting. Be sure to stay muted whenever you aren’t talking to avoid unnecessary noise. 

15. Use a virtual background

Virtual backgrounds can help keep the focus on work and not any distractions behind you. HiHello offers a free virtual background generator that allows you to create, custom, and download a personalized virtual background that links to your digital business card.

always use a virtual background for video meetings

16. Have an agenda

No one likes sitting in meetings for longer than necessary. Having an agenda prepared will ensure you don’t miss any vital information and keep the discussion on course. 

17. Leave the meeting last 

If you are the host, make sure you are the last person to leave the video call. By staying on the call, you allow participants to connect privately once the call ends. 

18. End with a summary

Sometimes the smaller details are easily lost once a meeting is over, but you’ve got great notes from your meeting recording software. So use those notes to send a post-meeting summary.

Is it rude to turn your camera off on Zoom?

Sometimes you are tired of maintaining that smile, or maybe you are having a bad hair day. For whatever reason, you might wonder if it’s rude to leave the camera off. Join the call with your camera on, and then you can let the other participants know you’d like to turn your camera off. This should help let others know that you have no rude intentions.

Is it rude to drink coffee during zoom?

In most cases, you should feel free to drink your coffee or water during your meeting without offending anyone. Ask yourself what the proper etiquette would be if the meeting were in person. Would people be sipping on coffee? If you choose to take a sip during a video call, keep your sound off.


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Main photo by Sigmund on Unsplash