Net-Etiquettes In The Post-Covid World

Niraalee is a certified international etiquette trainer who aims to extend her wealth of knowledge to corporates and organizations globally PAN India.

The pandemic has affected us beyond our expectations and has changed our ways of living for generations to come. From working professionals to children, everyone has been using technology as an extended part of themselves. The Post COVID era introduced a ‘virtual workplace’ culture and created a world within a world called the ‘Digital Workplace’.

Since virtual meetings have now become the new normal and an inseparable element of our daily work routine, it’s still easy to fall victim to some major meeting faux pas. Virtual Etiquette is a whole new ball game and we are here to master it! Here’s a survival guide with some ‘Digital Etiquette’ or ‘Net-etiquettes’ that you should observe while logging in.

1) Formal Dressing
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. Keep aside those extra minutes to look presentable and formal, and would realize the difference it makes to your online presence and productivity.

2) Mute the Microphone
As mentioned above, 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.

3) Keeping your Background Clear
Your co-workers 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.

4) 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. Keep yourself hydrated for the duration of the call.

Since virtual meetings have now become the new normal and an inseparable element of our daily work routine, it’s still easy to fall victim to some major meeting faux pas

5) Don’t get Distracted while on a Web Meeting
It may be tempting to check your inbox or carry on a parallel conversation during a dull moment in a meeting, but don’t do it! It is advised not to check your smartphone or answer phone calls while on a virtual meeting.

If you’re using your webcam, use attentive body language like sitting up straight, not making big extraneous movements, and not letting your eyes wander too much. Do not leave the meeting without saying so to your colleagues.

6) Meeting Talk Points
Sara Sutton, CEO, and Founder of FlexJob Corporation once said “Agendas don't have to be long, involved, or even particularly detailed. By providing staff with an agenda, attendees know what to expect, can guesstimate how long it will run, and, if there is an element of participation, will allow them to prepare talking points.”

Another often missed yet important thing to remember, is to make the topic to be discussed relevant to at least three people in the meeting. Otherwise, send an email on the topic or conduct a smaller meeting. Virtual meetings have to be more mindful than just a tick box exercise.

7) Video should be ON
Video adds a human touch to meetings. Being seen on video is an important element of conference call etiquette, especially in the current scenario. If you're in an emergency and unable to attend the meeting, it is courteous to inform your absence beforehand to not let others wait aimlessly.

8) Help others too
It sounds simple, but it's worth stating clearly–if you're inviting someone to an online meeting, they must have access to the right software or hardware to join in. Make sure you announce meetings with plenty of notice so participants can download or acquire what they need to participate in.