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The Zoom social etiquette guide

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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The Zoom social etiquette guide

The Zoom social etiquette guide

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

bbc.com

7

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 habit of shaking hands

Taking into account the current situation created by the new virus, disease experts state that we should all consider removing handshakes from our habits from now on, as they could only increase th...

Giving up on handshakes

While shaking hands reveals the need to connect with the other and be socially engaged, several disease experts are encouraging us to find a substitute that would endanger less our health throughout periods of pandemics and not only. For instance, greetings such as simply stating how much of a pleasure it is to meet a person could actually do the trick.

Adapting our social habits

While disease experts support the idea of removing the handshakes from our cultural customs, several University professors claim that individuals are surely able to adept their customs, even if these have been practiced for generations to come. Therefore, giving up or just adjusting the handshake, should be no major issue for our civilization.

Looking locally first

Because of social distancing, many companies are pulling back on national or global advertising. They started limiting their geographic search and are now looking locally first.
This could be go...

Adapting the interview process

Face-to-face interviews are not really possible and recommended anymore, and everybody’s been replacing them with their video equivalent.
How a company adapts its interview process can be a preview to its culture: by accommodating different comfort levels, companies aren’t just saying they have a good culture; they’re showing it.

New onboarding process

The onboarding process for newly hired candidates is becoming virtual, too. 

You need to offer plenty of resources and information, with scheduled conversations through video. You need to introduce a routine into their lives.

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The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

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.

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Staying connected

When we are distancing ourselves in like never before, it is more important than ever to stay connected to the people who matter most in your life (your personal network) and to be willing to conne...

A networking strategy

It is a deliberate approach to relationship building that enables us to prioritize our most important ones, focus on the quality over the quantity of our connections, engage in networking activities in an authentic and reciprocal way, and link our relationship-building activities to our overarching strategic goals. 

Designing a digital networking strategy
  • Determine your networking goals and find ways to accomplish them digitally.
  • Decide what your baseline tactical approach will be.
  • Text the most important people in your contact list a simple message of “How are you holding up? I am thinking of you. What do you need? How can I help?”
  • Arrange a virtual movie night with several people.
  • Arrange a physically distant coffee catch-up.

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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.

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Hidden problems
Hidden problems

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Monitor communication

The quality of online conversations can lack much of the interpersonal richness present in in-person discussions.

Conversations could be monitored with RIFF Analytics, for example, that uses artificial intelligence to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant: Is anybody dominating the conversation? Is discussion as inclusive as it should be?

Maintain inclusivity

When working remotely, physical distance can quickly develop into psychological distance. Companies need to take extra care to include people in decision-making.

  • One method is secret voting on new ideas to prevent the loud guy from taking over.
  • Another method is Idea markets, where colleagues can vote new ideas up or down.

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Working Remotely

There is ongoing turbulence in the workplace due to the uncertainties provided by the new virus, resulting in a whole lot of people working from home. Normally the work-from-home policies are esta...

Common Challenges of Remote Work

Even high-performing employees can face a decline in job performance and engagement when working remotely. This can be due to:

  • Lack of face-to-face supervision, which leads to a two-way communication gap and even mistrust.
  • There is a delay in the procurement of information as remote workers aren’t able to sense the atmosphere and real-time events at the workplace, leading to a lack of ‘mutual knowledge’.
  • A sense of isolation among remote workers, leading to a feeling of less belongingness within the organization.
  • Distractions at home due to unplanned work-from-home transition, with employees balancing childcare and many other responsibilities along with work.
Improving Engagement And Productivity

A few specific, research-backed steps that can be taken to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees:

  • Establishing Structured Daily check-ins, by establishing a daily call or touchpoint.
  • Providing several different communication technology options, using virtual communication tools like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc., and making use of video conferencing.
  • Establishing clear rules of engagement for communicating with the coworkers or the managers, according to the levels of urgency.
  • Providing opportunities for remote social interaction by talking about non-work activities, thereby reducing the feeling of isolation among remote workers.
  • Offering encouragement and emotional support by listening to the workers, acknowledging their stress, and keeping their needs and issues in focus.
Dating In The Times of Pandemic
Dating In The Times of Pandemic

As offline activities for dating couples have to be avoided, the dating brands of the internet have adapted themselves fast to accommodate virtual activities and in-build video chats. 

Video Dating Or No Dating

Apps like OkCupid and Tinder see a decent surge in daily conversations in the last month. Ironically, the feature that they have recently introduced, Video Dating, wasn’t asked by anyone before the pandemic, as everyone preferred real dating. Now, due to everyone in lockdown, it is the most used feature and has shot up the app engagement.

Video dating, which has witnessed a 200 percent increase in OkCupid, lets the dating couples check the ‘vibe’ of their partner, and decide if the person can be dated in future.

Digital Date Ideas

Some of the interesting digital date ideas that are proposed in the dating Apps:

  • Build a playlist together
  • Watch TikTok Videos, trying to understand Millennials and Gen Z
  • Draw pictures of each other
  • Tackle a crossword puzzle together
  • Watch an old concert on youtube together
  • Read the same book and discuss it on video chat.

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Re-evaluation

Disruption and isolation have a way of encouraging us to electively re-evaluate our lives.

Many are abandoning habits or behaviors during this pandemic. Some vowed to care less about ...

Reconsidering priorities

Living through a crisis can be genuinely formative. There are enormous growth and power that can come from it.

With business as usual, we tend to become accustomed to an autopilot mode of living. Aspects that we once thought important, like what to wear or buy, are now really petty.

Collectively, we may be reconsidering our priorities, the lasting effects that will also have an economic impact.

Long-term effects

With the new constraints of lockdown, people will be facing isolation, boredom, and a need for small joy. During this time, things will be streamlined or lost. After the adjustment period follows a time of re-evaluation in which we decide which behavioral changes we made during a crisis, we will abandon, and which we will sustain.

  • Many pleasures like eating in restaurants and traveling will be resumed.
  • Luxury goods may experience the biggest consumer fallout.
  • Online entertainment might also take a hit.