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Apr 1, 2021

Remote meeting etiquette for a hybrid office

Remote meeting etiquette can be the difference in making your virtual team meetings effective, starting with good preparation.
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As hybrid work has increased in popularity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual video calls and remote team meetings have become the norm. While video calls are ideal for remote work, it’s safe to say they don’t come without challenges.⁴‍

When used correctly, video conferencing can boost productivity and collaboration among your team. Remote meeting etiquette can be the difference in making your virtual team meetings effective, but what does proper etiquette look like?

This article will discuss the best remote team etiquette tips to help hybrid offices maximize virtual meetings.

Prepare for the meeting

‍Preparation is critical for everyone involved in the meeting. Preparing thoughts beforehand encourages attendees to share their best ideas and allows for constructive use of time.⁴ What you will do to prepare for the virtual meeting will depend on your role.‍

Preparation tips for organizers

If you are hosting the meeting, create an agenda a few days beforehand and send it to the attendees. Your agenda should include:

  • Key objectives that establish the purpose of the meeting
  • Each attendee’s assigned responsibilities
  • How much time will be spent on each point

A good agenda can help your team stay on track and ensure nobody feels like they are wasting their time.⁶‍

Preparation tips for attendees

‍If the meeting organizer does their part, the attendees should have an agenda they can read to prepare for the video call. Additionally, each team member should have the assignment to prepare a presentation or brainstorm an idea before the meeting. A pre-call assignment is especially effective in encouraging introverts to participate, as it can give them time to collect their thoughts in advance.³ If attendees come ready with ideas, participation becomes less of an issue.⁴

Have attendees turn on their cameras

It is generally good remote meeting etiquette to use video cameras so others can see who is talking. If the team correctly prepares before the meeting, attendees should feel like they have a reason to turn on their cameras. Set an expectation beforehand that everyone needs to use their cameras, and ask attendees to join the meeting from a quiet room with an appropriate backdrop.²‍

Asking team members to use their cameras can help ensure that attendees will stay engaged throughout the meeting. In turn, meeting organizers should consider how long they are asking attendees to sit and watch someone talk on a screen.² Take time to prepare an engaging agenda and encourage team member participation so everyone feels comfortable and productive having their cameras turned on.‍

Leave some time for casual conversation

‍Remote employees often struggle with feeling disconnected from other team members. In a recent survey, half of the employees working remotely said they have struggled to maintain close relationships with their co-workers in the past year.⁵‍

Consider opening the video call ten minutes before the appointed time so team members can join early and chat before the formal discussion begins. At the beginning of the meeting, start by giving attendees a chance to introduce themselves and talk about their role in the meeting, regardless of whether or not everyone already knows each other.⁶ This is an easy way to maintain connections with co-workers and can also help encourage participation and camera usage throughout the meeting. When each team member gets a chance to use their camera and talk at the beginning of the discussion, it’s much more likely that participants will continue to leave their cameras on.²

Establish a communication structure

Conversation in a virtual meeting may cause some confusion, especially if some attendees join online while others are present in a physical office.⁴ Team members might inadvertently talk over each other or hesitate to speak without communication guidelines in place.‍

Encourage anyone who is speaking to take short breaks in between sentences, giving team members a chance to add their thoughts. To ensure nobody is interrupted, you may decide to use a hand-raising feature on your video call service and ask attendees to wait to speak until the meeting organizer calls on them.‍

Don’t forget to follow up

‍If the meeting organizer assigns any to-dos with a hard deadline, they should always follow up with team members after the meeting. Any meeting, no matter how engaging, won’t be effective in the long run if nobody takes notes or outlines follow-up tasks.

Assign one team member to take and share notes with attendees, allowing everyone to remember their assignments. If there is not enough time to address a question or concern, add it to the agenda for the next meeting or meet one-on-one with the individual.

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The modern-day workplace has evolved into a hybrid office where employees split time between the office and remote work. With the emergence of hybrid work, remote meeting etiquette is just one of the adjustments that companies will have to make as they adapt to the new normal. ¹‍

Works Cited
  1. CBRE. “The Next Normal.” CBRE, 16 August 2021, https://www.cbre.com/insights/reports/the-next-normal-how-hybrid-work-will-transform-commercial-real-estate#executive-summary. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  2. Forbes. “How To Get People To Turn On Their Video Cameras In Online Meetings.” Forbes, 25 September 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/leegimpel/2020/09/25/how-to-get-people-to-turn-on-their-video-cameras-in-online-meetings/?sh=679b54293bfe. Accessed 19 April 2022.
  3. Forbes. “https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2021/08/24/how-best-to-engage-remote-attendees-in-blended-remotein-person-meetings/?sh=8099dde2d41c.” Forbes, 24 August 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2021/08/24/how-best-to-engage-remote-attendees-in-blended-remotein-person-meetings/?sh=8099dde2d41c. Accessed 19 April 2022.
  4. Forbes. “13 Tips For Running A Successful Remote Meeting.” Forbes, 3 August 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/08/03/13-tips-for-running-a-successful-remote-meeting/?sh=4243d25d4c06. Accessed 19 April 2022.
  5. Harvard Business Review. “5 Key Trends Leaders Need to Understand to Get Hybrid Right.” HBR, 16 March 2022, https://hbr.org/2022/03/5-key-trends-leaders-need-to-understand-to-get-hybrid-right. Accessed 19 April 2022.
  6. Rampton, John. “Virtual Meeting Etiquette Guide for Hosts and Attendees.” Entrepreneur, 20 October 2020, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/353419. Accessed 19 April 2022.

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This post was written by one of the many writers at Envoy who are passionate about helping educate and inspire workplace leaders. We cover everything from the visitor and employee experience, to space and delivery management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.

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