The 7 rules of virtual meeting etiquette every professional should know



As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, few industries remain unscathed – and virtual meetings have become an essential part of how modern businesses maintain productivity and continuity. They’re an easy, cost-effective way to align multiple offices, keep remote employees engaged and work with clients and vendors.

While virtual meetings have likely been a part of your daily work routine for some time now, it’s still easy to fall victim to some major meeting faux pas. Virtual meeting etiquette is a whole new ball game compared to in-person meetings, as many folks are learning this week!

To help you keep your meetings productive and professional, follow these seven simple virtual meeting etiquette rules and tips.

1. Leave the keyboard alone

Whether you’re diligently taking notes like a model employee or sneakily chatting with your work bestie, the sound of your typing is distracting. It’s not only distracting everyone else in the meeting (because your laptop’s internal microphone is inches away from your keyboard), it’s also preventing you from devoting your full attention to the meeting. Opt for a quality headset or pick up your notebook and pen to take meeting notes instead.

Product tip: Let GoTo Meeting take notes for you! Our Smart Assistant automatically transcribes meetings so you can focus on what’s being said – not what to write. After your meeting, you can easily search for keywords in the text of your meeting transcription and share the content with a link.

2. Dress appropriately

One of the magical things about working remotely is the freedom to wear anything to work. It’s the dream, right? Still, there’s no reason to show your co-workers your PJs and bedhead. (Unless it’s a joke the whole team agrees on, in which case we approve).

Take a few minutes to throw on a clean shirt and brush your hair. The best part of actually getting ready while working remotely is that you’ll put yourself in the right headspace to be productive.

3. Be aware of your surroundings

Your coworkers won’t be able to hear your ideas or take you seriously when there is a pile of dirty clothes in the corner behind you. You also want to avoid looking like you work from the inside of a cave because of bad lighting.

Adjust your work setup so that you face a window or are exposed to plenty of light. And make sure your background is professional and work appropriate! This means:

  • No beds (unmade or made) in the background
  • No messy rooms or open closets where everyone can see your clutter
  • No NSFW artwork

While kids and pets are adorable (and a much needed distraction when you’re feeling overwhelmed), your coworkers won’t love having to talk over a screaming child or barking dog. So, be mindful of noise and…

4. Mute your microphone when you’re not talking

There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing that alien echo noise from conflicting microphones. Save everyone from the ear-splitting madness by joining the meeting while on mute!

Unless you live alone, your house is probably pretty noisy these days. Muting your microphone when you’re not speaking gives other participants the ability to chime in and share their thoughts without distraction or frustration.

5. Speak up

When you enter a small meeting (around two to five people) announce yourself when you join. It can be awkward to hear the “someone-just-joined” ding followed by silence. When you hop on the meeting, introduce yourself and say hi – just make sure not to interrupt someone mid-sentence.

Don’t be afraid to project your voice, too! Your team will appreciate being able to hear you without having to strain their ears or turn their volume all the way up.

6. No food allowed

Try to eat a snack before your virtual meeting. No one wants to see you stuff your face with chips while discussing important business matters. Not only is it distracting to others, you won’t be able to focus on the task at hand because you’ll be worrying about dropping crumbs all over your keyboard.

7. Stay seated and stay present

It may be tempting to check your inbox or carry on a side conversation during a dull moment in a meeting, but don’t do it! You might miss out on key information or an opportunity to give input. If you’re using your webcam, use attentive body language: sit up straight, don’t make big extraneous movements, and don’t let your eyes wander too much.

Once you have mastered this meeting etiquette, make sure you are making the most of your virtual meetings with these 8 can't-miss tips.