Workplace Savvy: New Zoom etiquette for meetings

Early on in the pandemic, Zoom and other video-meeting platforms were a novel and nifty new thing for those working from home. Well, we’re all grown up now, and what used to be cute — barking dogs, children and spouses in the background or a cat walking on your keyboard — has become annoying. So here are some simple business etiquette rules to follow:

Be on time

Clicking on your link at 10 a.m. for your 10 a.m. staff meeting means you’re already late. Face-to-face meetings at the office meant being in your chair at 10 a.m. or before, and the same applies here. Don’t assume connecting digitally will always go smoothly, and don’t keep others waiting while you resolve your tech issues. It’s best to be safe and arrive early.

Don’t be a lurker

Turn video on. Your name and Avatar are no substitute for live video. If you need to temporarily turn off your video due to some unexpected event, by all means do so. But leaving video off should not be your default. Unless you have good reason (bad hair is not one — everyone’s hair looks bad), you need to show up.

Maintain your appearance

Sure, you can wear sweat pants and flip-flops, but your top should be professional. Ladies: If you normally wear jewelry and makeup, continue doing so. Guys: Whatever facial-hair thing you’ve got going, it should be neat and groomed.

Stage your area

Be mindful of your background — it should be neat and uncluttered. What’s visible on your bookcase and walls? Close your door, and make sure your spouse, children and pets are elsewhere.

Avoid chewing on camera

It’s distracting — or worse, especially if you’re not muted. So no gum or snacks. Drinking from a mug or glass is OK, but avoid bottles or anything that could be mistaken for an adult beverage.

Don’t multitask

Yes, we can see you and tell you’re distracted doing other stuff on the screen. You aren’t fooling anyone. If you were invited to a work meeting, you should stay engaged and give it your attention.

The Zoom platform has additional tips for etiquette if you’re the organizer or host that are worth checking out. Visit for more information.

Eva Del Rio is creator of HR Box — tools for small businesses and startups. Send questions to

Source: OCALA Star Banner