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The Zoom social etiquette guide

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200428-the-zoom-social-etiquette-guide

bbc.com

The Zoom social etiquette guide
It's Saturday night, your cocktails are ready and you're about to throw a party with a couple dozen friends. It's also your seventh straight week in mandatory lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Introducing People

Introducing People

People no longer have the option to introduce themselves to new people at their convenience (like in an office setting, for example). With the remote setting, the second someone joins an online meeting, they’re exposed in front of dozens of new faces staring straight at them. It's easy to feel awkward. More so if they are ignored, or not properly introduced.

So make sure to introduce everyone individually to the group. And if not everyone on the call knows each other, make the time for short ice-breaking sessions for everyone to introduce themselves.

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The Waiting Room

It is advisable to enable the waiting room option for new joiners so that they are made to enter one at a time and provided with a proper introduction.

It also takes care of the risk of your meeting getting crashed by someone suddenly.

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The Art Of The Pause

  • Video chats with multiple participants have a lot of cross-talk and people talking at the same time. This problem is compounded by dodgy internet speeds.

  • It is possible to listen to only one person at a time, so one has to learn the art of the pause. Stopping and staying silent will allow others to calm down.

  • Zoom also has a raise hand feature, which helps facilitate the meeting in an orderly fashion.

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The Side Chat

Zoom has a side chat feature, where you can send a direct message to the host or any participant. Just make sure the text message is only sent to that person, and not to the whole group. And then check it again.

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Changing Your Background

Zoom backgrounds allow you to hide those distracting visuals from behind, like a dirty room, pizza boxes or other members of the household coming and going.

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Punctuality

To avoid being late (even if you’re always online), take a few minutes ahead of the call (or party), especially if you’re the host, to test your settings and re-check your internet.

It’s also essential to be extra considerate of the time of other; though people are at home, they may be having other calls and commitments or may be functioning on another time zone.

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Life On Video Calls

  • Make sure you keep the conversation alive by returning the ‘tennis ball’ of the discussion back to the other person.
  • Make your webcam on eye level or higher.
  • Make sure you have head-on natural lighting to appear good on screen.
  • Be respectful, positive, polite and inclusive.

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Everything From A Tiny Screen

Video Calling is being used for studying, dating, talking to your parents and for work purposes, leading to a new kind of exhaustion of doing everything from your laptop or smartphone screen. Add to this our being confined in a tiny space (like a room) most of the time.

Relaxing Activity Vs Performance

If video calling and catching up with friends was a relaxing activity, where you can just be yourself, you would not feel fatigued. 

What we have here is an added pressure to perform virtually among so many other participants, each vying for attention and validation.

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The new normal

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Working from home will become t...

Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job

  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

Social behavior

Many of the correct behaviors people once considered common sense have gotten lost in the swirling wind of bad advice, outdated manners, rules, and social media that makes it too easy to slip up an...

Social rules

  • Have good manners.
  • Be on time.
  • Personal space. Every culture has different comfort levels of personal space, so before you travel, find out how close you can get to people without being rude.
  • Men’s manners. Be a gentleman. Rudeness is never manly.
  • Women’s manners. You can be a lady and still show strength. It is always appropriate to be mannerly.
  • Teens’ manners. Demonstrate good manners. If you exhibit proper etiquette, you'll earn respect and maybe even more privileges.
  • Children’s manners. Be polite. Be the kid everyone wants to play with. 
  • Host and Hostess Gift. Never show up empty-handed when you're a guest in someone's home.

Learn to communicate

  • Conversation. Learn how to hold a decent conversation with back-and-forth dialogue. Never monopolize a discussion.
  • Never gossip
  • People’s names. Most people appreciate your effort to learn their names if you spend more than a minute or two talking with them. 
  • Cell phones. Use your cell phone sparingly in public.  Think before you hit “send” in an e-mail. Most electronic mail can never be taken back.
  • Social media. Remember that not only can your friends see what you post, others can repost, copy, share, or retweet anything you put out there.
  • Rude questions. There are ways to deal with them and not come across as snarky. 
  • How to Graciously Change the Subject. There are times certain things shouldn't be discussed, and it's up to you to shift the conversation.