An Etiquette Primer For Zoom And Other Videoconferencing Services Some people are just getting used to telework, and making blunders on tools such as Zoom — including going to the bathroom while your webcam is live. Here are some videoconference etiquette tips.
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An Etiquette Primer For Zoom And Other Videoconferencing Services

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An Etiquette Primer For Zoom And Other Videoconferencing Services

An Etiquette Primer For Zoom And Other Videoconferencing Services

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. There has been lots to adjust to during this whole coronavirus pandemic, wouldn't you say, Ari?

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Absolutely. For those of us working from home, we've had to learn how to video conference, for example.

CHANG: (Laughter) Yeah, so instead of your workmates looking into your cubicle or your office, they get to see into your bedroom or your home offices or your living rooms.

SHAPIRO: So we are here with some remote meeting etiquette tips. First, avoid what one person on the service Zoom did. His computer camera was on but not much else; not one stitch of clothing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Let's make sure everybody has clothes on.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANG: Excellent advice; though, there are less exposing mistakes to avoid in group telechats. Some tips from experts now - first, we asked Frank Weishaupt. He's at Owl Labs, which produces tech for video conferences. And he has this tip.

FRANK WEISHAUPT: To be respectful to all the people that are going to be on the video call, make sure that you're prepared in advance. Start a few minutes early. Make sure your camera's working, your speakers are working, that the lighting is right and that you have the link ready to go so that you don't have to pay that 10-minute meeting tax to figure out how to get onto the video call and make yourself present.

SHAPIRO: Here is another tip from USA Today columnist Steven Petrow.

STEVEN PETROW: First up, dress appropriately. And I learned this by making a mistake. The other day, I put on a nice shirt, nice sweater, but I left my gym shorts on. And as I came to sit down in front of my laptop, which was already on, I could see - and so could everyone else - those beautiful gym shorts. Don't do that.

CHANG: Zoom also has some tips. For example, they write, if it is a first meeting for the whole group, introduce yourselves because you would do that in a face-to-face meeting, wouldn't you?

SHAPIRO: Also, have a work-appropriate background. You probably don't want your dirty laundry or a centerfold on the wall to be your legacy.

CHANG: (Laughter) Zoom also says look into the camera when you're talking. It's tempting to look at yourself, but come on. Don't be vain. It's rude.

SHAPIRO: And here's Steven Petrow again with one more big common error to avoid.

PETROW: And finally, if you need to go to the bathroom - bio break - turn off the video. Turn off the audio because sound is louder than you think.

CHANG: Yeah, so don't be like this woman in an online meeting with her colleagues. She decided to take a bathroom break, and she forgot to turn off her camera that was pointed her way.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: I saw nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Oh, my God, Jennifer (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: Nothing, keep going.

SHAPIRO: In this moment, I'm glad we are audio-only.

CHANG: (Laughter).

SHAPIRO: Lesson - business meetings are no place to do your business.

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