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Published on30 June 20200

The Remote Meeting Etiquette Guide

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, it looks like remote working may be here to stay—which means lots and lots of Zoom meetings. Since video calling is our new normal, it’s time we had an etiquette guide for our post-COVID world.

Spoiler alert: keep your trousers on and mute your mic.

Matt and I have been working remotely for over a decade, so we’ve seen it all when it comes to video call snafus. Want to ace your video meetings and nab that promotion? Follow our simple guide!

1. Always wear bottoms.

Hey, we get it. Your co-workers can only see you from the waist up. Why not, right? Nobody will ever know the difference!

Wrong.

This is just a risk you don’t need to take. Put some trousers on, please!

2. Send your lover(s) packing.

Ideally, you’re going to want to keep your unintentional nudes to a strict minimum.

If you happen to be stepping out on a significant other who isn’t cool with it, maybe that “strict minimum” should be closer to “zero”.

3. Make sure your decor is appropriate.

Matt worked with someone for several years who continually attended video calls with… “erotic” art behind him, always in frame. Not to be a prude, but maybe leave that for the after-work social video call.

Hot tip: your pre-meeting prep should always include opening up Photo Booth (or some other camera app) and checking to see what’s in frame. This is also an excellent opportunity to make sure your hair looks good and you aren’t at a super weird angle. (I like to prop my laptop up on a pile of cookbooks so it’s aimed straight at my face, rather than angled up like I’m some sort of demi-god. YMMV.)

4. Lock your door.

Children: life’s little embarrassing momentExternal link machines.

5. Turn off your mic before cussing out your colleagues.

Or, you know, don’t cuss them out at all, but apparently that doesn’t work for everyone.

Always remember: the internet is forever, and there’s a good chance that if you act like a jackass, the internet will reward you by immortalising the incidentExternal link on your otherwise relatively scant Wikipedia page.

6. Drinking is fine. Just use a mug.

Because nothing says classy like a mug full of wine.

Maybe wait until after the meeting to hit up your bong, though.

7. Mute your mic!

If you want to mute your mic super fast, or see an indicator during your meetings, we even wrote an app for that! If you’re using a Mac, Mic Drop mutes your mic from any appExternal link. (Use the code WORK_FROM_HOME to get 20% off.)

8. Never apologise for your pets.

Not everyone will find your screaming children charming, but I guarantee that everyone will find your cat an absolute delight.

We’d all rather be watching cat videos than doing this meeting. 🐈

A photo of a young redhead wearing sunglasses and smiling.
Job titleWritten by

Sarah London Semark

Chief Design Octopus. Advocate for the user. Believes in constructive criticism. Buys books based on their covers.

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