Working from home has a lot of perks. Since you don’t have to commute to the office or jobsite every day, you can sleep in right up until your shift begins. You can take on a “business on top, party on the bottom” type of attitude like many remote workers are doing during the pandemic. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about whether your lunch is too crunchy or stinky enough to send your coworkers running in the other direction.

Perks aside, however, there are also a few important videoconferencing rules of etiquette that you should abide by when renting virtual office services in Ottawa.

African american employee working remotely discussing with partners online using laptop sitting at desk late at night. Freelancer using modern technology network wireless talking on virtual meeting

1. Make Sure You’re Always Screen-Ready

Whether you’re participating in a planned or impromptu videoconferencing virtual meeting, it’s important to always dress professionally (at least on top) so that you’re presentable. Dressing professionally while working from home has also been proven to increase productivity because even though you’re not physically in the office, it can help put you in the working mindset.

While you definitely don’t need to go all out and wear uncomfortable work attire, casual dress like sweatpants and baggy hoodies just don’t look good on camera, especially if you hold multiple meetings per day.

Take some time to freshen up and regroup between meetings, so you’re always prepared and look your best on camera.

2. Maintain Eye Contact

During a virtual meeting, you might be tempted to glance down at your notes or your screen a lot, but it’s important to maintain eye contact as much as possible. Looking people directly in the eye, even during videoconferences or virtual meetings, helps you exude confidence.

Subconsciously, it convinces the people you’re talking to that you’re an authority figure on the given subject and helps you gain their trust, respect, and undivided attention. This is an especially important feat when you’re front and center giving a virtual presentation or voicing your ideas during a meeting. Work presentations and meetings are especially challenging when everyone is working from home and bombarded with personal distractions in their households. For that reason, it’s important to make your presentations and meeting contributions all the more engaging and interesting.

3. Avoid Interrupting Others

Whether they’re intentional or unintentional, interruptions come off as rude and impatient, particularly in a professional setting. Despite the fact that you’re holding a virtual conference where everyone is working from different remote locations, it’s important to continue to act as if everyone is in the same room.

Interruptions can certainly happen by accident as there can be audio and image delays in some cases that cause people to accidentally talk over one another. But when it happens frequently and repeatedly, some employees may start to get frustrated and feel devalued, which can and ultimately will affect their job performance, productivity, and enthusiasm about their work.

Take the time to listen to what everyone has to say and try to follow visual cues as well as read body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Just because you’re not in the same room as your coworkers or employees, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act like it.

4. Mute the Mic When You’re Not Speaking

To avoid accidentally interrupting, speaking over, or distracting someone during their turn to speak, it’s always a good idea to mute your mic and then turn it back on when you want to say something. This way, each person gets a fair and equal opportunity to speak and voice their opinions or share ideas. If it helps, you can have each person either raise their hand or ask permission from a meeting moderator before they speak.

Having a system in place will reduce the frequency of interruptions, allow everyone to contribute to the conversation equally, and ensure that the meeting goes smoothly with minimal issues or misunderstandings.

5. Test Your Tech Frequently

Have you ever been sitting in a virtual meeting, preparing to say something only to realize that your technology has stopped working right before you’re about to speak? We’ve all faced this frustration at one point or another during the course of the lockdown and stay-at-home orders.

Equipment breakdowns, power outages, and slow or disconnected Wi-Fi are all par for the course in the IT industry. If you’re going to be working from home, you need to make sure you have reliable access to IT support whenever you may need it.

Renting virtual office services in Ottawa can provide you with reliable IT support to ensure your technology is always in excellent working condition and offer backup support during power outages or other circumstances outside your control. They’ll also run frequent system performance and speed tests to help you prepare for every videoconference and virtual meeting ahead of time.

6. Tidy Up Your Background Surroundings

People often forget that their coworkers can see everything that’s going on in the background during their virtual meetings. If you think your surroundings are distracting to you, then imagine how distracting they are to your coworkers. If possible, choose a quiet and private place in your home to conduct virtual meetings and videoconferences.

If that’s not possible, then at least take the time to tidy up your space to make it look more professional and presentable to your coworkers and limit background distractions.

7. Be Courteous to Other Participants

As mentioned, it’s important to respect other meeting participants and show them that you’re listening to them. Even though you’re physically alone, be mindful of the fact that everyone can still see what you’re doing.

Try to refrain from multitasking while participating in a videoconference or virtual meeting as this will reflect poorly on you and throw the other participants off their game. Make an effort to show them the same courtesy and respect that you expect to get from them.

Virtual Meeting Rooms for Rent in Ottawa

Lockdown restrictions vary by jurisdiction. Some essential employees such as business owners, office managers, and CEOs are still required to come into the office every day. Considering businesses are being forced to operate at decreased capacities, some employees can still safely and effectively work from home.

To accommodate all of your evolving business needs and help you continue your operations during the pandemic, Innovative Professional Offices is offering flexible hourly office rentals and the use of a virtual business address in Ottawa and Mississauga. Contact us today to learn more.