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5 tips for an effective virtual meeting with colleagues

5 tips for an effective virtual meeting with colleagues

With more companies employing work-from-home (WFH) arrangements for their employees, chances are you’ve found yourself in one too many virtual meetings recently. After all, touching base with your fellow employees is still very much relevant.
Most people get through those virtual meetings just fine. But if you’re one of the individuals who dread these kinds of meetings (cough, because they can be awkward, cough), fret not. We have some tips to make you feel more comfortable—and effective—during those all important online chat dates.

Prepare for the meeting

More often than not, virtual meetings are scheduled, so there is no reason for you to come unprepared. Prepare for the virtual meet as if you’re preparing for a face-to-face meeting in the office with your colleagues. Put the scheduled meet in your organizer (so you don’t forget it), do your homework, make sure to be in a conducive environment for the chat, dress appropriately, and make sure you’re not next to a noisy rooster.

Come on time

In relation to the first tip, always make sure to show up during the virtual meeting on time. That means setting up your laptops or mobile phones some 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled meeting, so you have time to troubleshoot problems that may arise. Just because it’s an online meet and that your colleagues are at home doesn’t mean you can keep them waiting. Nobody wants latecomers in any situation.
Find a quiet place
Yes, the kids and pets are at home, too. But make sure to find a place where you can focus on your meeting with the least amount of distractions. Ensure that you’re in a place where the Internet connection is strong so there’s less interruption.
Dress appropriately
Some people prefer to dress up, complete with shoes, as if they’re going to a meeting in the office. If that makes you feel more confident and “normal,” do so by all means. Some prefer to dress up a little laid-back, considering they are, in fact, at home. In most cases, that’s fine. But please never show up in a virtual meeting in your lingerie. (We just had to say it!). Also, even though the camera would be angled to show only the upper half of your body, it’s still safe to wear your shorts or pants, so nobody accidentally sees you in your undergarments.
Participate in your meetings
Nothing makes an hour-long virtual meeting more boring than just staring at your screen. Participate and engage with your colleagues. Don’t answer another call while on a meeting (unless it’s an emergency). Drinking coffee or having a light snack during a virtual meet is okay, but perhaps having a full meal may not be the best idea. Make sure you can still take notes and give meaningful responses.