Zoom Etiquette

Here we look at best practice for conducting yourself in a Zoom meeting or video conference.

In a normal call, say an informal call with a few colleagues or friends, or in one-on-one meetings these considerations are not so important - a bit of chaos is OK. But as a meeting gets larger each participant adds to the noise and the sense of chaos, and it becomes important to follow some soft rules.

# Practice It is good to practice getting your Zoom style organised and smooth. It is important to take extra care to make your Zoom connection calm and professional during meetings - especially group meetings.

That means mainly three things: 1. Make sure you mute your microphone when not talking. Adding your background noise to a meeting is rude - that is annoying for other people trying to listen. 1. When calling in on mobile - get a good place, with the best connection and stay still. Lots of camera movement and chaos adds to a chaotic feel to the meeting. 1. If you have a bad connection make a special / extra effort. Try to arrive early and test your connection. Find the palce with the best connection. Turn off your camera when not needed. 1. Make sure you arrive on time and if on mobile, set things up extra careful, testing the set-up as above.

# Get a good microphone

Apart from issues calling in on mobile, the most common problem that people have is not having a good microphone. This is most commonly a hardware problem. It is common for people to try to use cheap headphones that may be fine for listening to music, but have bad microphones.

Another common issue is for coders and hackers, particularly those using old recycled laptops and linux systems to have both bad microphones (on old hardware) and a poor sound software setup. Coders don't often care about multimedia functionality - which is understandable - but when working in groups remotely we have new needs.

# Pattern

There are always some people that need to attend and have to drop in via mobile, or have a bad connection. That is OK. But when an individual keeps doing it - it adds to the feeling in group that that persons life is chaotic and that they need to be kept at a bit of a distance from serious work or cared for and helped.

This becomes a pattern. It is not always good for the group or the individual who often wants to be taken more seriously, get involved and contribute. Everyone wants respect, and this pattern is an easy way to lose that respect whether warranted or not.

# See also