Businesses and individuals have been using the Internet as a means of getting together for several years. Whatever the purpose of your virtual meet-up, an executive planning conclave, a friendly gaming session, or a family reunion, people discovered the joys of being able to see and hear each other without actually being in the same room! Then the COVID pandemic struck and changed everything. Suddenly, these online meetings were not only the safest way to communicate, but often required by quarantine rules. The Australian Communications and Media Authority stated that an unheard of 99% of Australians engaged in online activities during the period, with 4 in 5 Australian adults participating in video calls! We were fortunate to have these new technologies in place for when we really needed them, a great deal of money (and sanity!) was saved by them.
Now that the pandemic has come and gone, a survey by The Australian Institute of Family Studies revealed that 67% of primary earners were working at home, in contrast to just 42% prior to COVID. So, despite the lifting of quarantines, the majority of workers are still using some kind of video conferencing solution on a daily basis! No one should be surprised really, isn’t it much nicer to sit in front of your home computer and log in to work instead of having to dress up and take some kind of transportation to the workplace, then spend the whole day away from the comforts of home? It is even rumoured that many teleconferencers don’t actually wear any pants!
Not surprisingly, some rules of etiquette have developed around the medium:
Be on time – Showing up late might not seem like that big a deal whilst you are fixing yourself a pre-meeting snack, but just like in real life, tardiness is a big inconvenience for all those involved.
Update early – Most platforms require an update, waiting till the last minute once again slows down everyone else who has to wait for your feed to start.
Test your video and audio – Along the same lines, cameras and speakers don’t always play nice with programs, make sure everything is running smoothly beforehand.
Be in a quiet location – There are few things more irritating than having to listen to a noisy family or roommates yapping away in the background during your meeting.
One more thing – Wear pants!