Rules of Etiquette for Online Video Collaboration

by in Telecommuting

Always-on video is a new style of online video collaboration technology. Many teams are using it to improve team collaboration between colleagues within a team.

However, with this new type of collaboration, there are still lots of new “rules” and etiquette that are being developed. It’s not exactly like video conferencing, since you see your team members on an always-on video product throughout the day. However, it’s not exactly like going into a traditional office, either. Since always-on video is a new experience that still being explored, based on experience, we’ve found that these rules of etiquette are useful while using online video collaboration software:

1. Avoid eating in front of your computer.

Eating in front of the computer doesn’t look very good. If you’re caught at the wrong moment, you could actually look pretty gross or strange. If you care about how you look in front of your coworkers, avoid taking a bite out of your lunch sandwich while in front of the computer. Not only will it prevent crumbs from getting onto your keyboard, but it’ll also help preserve your image.

2. Women, wear something to cover your shoulders.

Women, I know when it gets warm out, it’s easy to opt for a cute tank top or tube top to keep yourself cool. Unfortunately, in the online video collaboration world, since you can’t see a woman’s bottom half, thin-strapped tank and tube tops become like the “mini skirt” of the online video world.

Usually, you can only see individuals from the waist up. This makes showing some shoulder seem like a lot of skin. Err on the side of caution when thinking about putting on a tank or a tube top, especially as the weather gets warmer.

3. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want house guests to see.

This is a good rule of thumb to help you make sure you’re always wearing something appropriate. Imagine you have a few guests over at your house. Would you walk around in your boxers? No. Would you talk to people with curlers or a towel wrapped around you head? Probably not. You wouldn’t want to do the same while using online video products.

While you might feel more “protected” because webcams give you a very limited view, you shouldn’t get too comfortable over how you look. You should remember that your coworkers are seeing you, and that you should always dress appropriately.

4. Add an extra pause before speaking.

When multiple people are using online video, there are always a variety of internet connections involved. This means that one person could have fast, reliable internet, while another person may have a spotty connection. This could cause some delay in the video, which could cause people to talk over each other or unintentionally interrupt someone else. To avoid this, try to wait a few seconds after the last person spoke before you take over.

5. Get familiar with muting.

No matter where you are—-at home, in a coffee shop, or a coworking space—-there will occasionally be some unwanted sounds in the background that you don’t want your coworkers to hear. Rather than letting these sounds disrupt your conversation with your coworker, start using your mute button. Get used to toggling your mute button on and off when there are noises in the background. This can make sure you have a fluid conversation with minimal noise distractions.

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About the Author

Sarah Gabot

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