Since we can’t see anyone in person anymore and Zoom calls have become a part of our daily lives, there has been this new concept of “Zoom etiquette.”
There are many don’ts when it comes to video chatting: not putting any effort into your appearance, not muting yourself when someone else is speaking, and looking at your phone or appearing distracted during a call.
These are just some of the things you should never do during a video chat, but what is the number one rule that you should never break?
It feels like this goes without saying but letting loose on a work call is not acceptable. The number one rule of work meetings, interviews and client calls is to never eat or drink during the call. This can come across as rude and unprofessional.
Save that cup of coffee for later
In a casual meeting, it may be fine to drink water or coffee. However, just as you would in a normal in-person job interview or professional meeting, try to avoid taking multiple sips, as this can serve as a major distraction for others.
Of course, there will be scenarios where you haven’t been able to drink water for a while – in that case, mute your mic and drink quickly.
And, obviously…avoid alcohol.
We aren’t talking about taking a sip from your water bottle or a swig of coffee from your mug. We are referring to alcohol – which is not a good thing to consume during a work session for a number of reasons.
First of all, being intoxicated during a meeting is a terrible look, one that you will most likely get fired over. In certain company policies, being drunk is against corporate policy and grounds for termination. Just because we aren’t physically going into the office doesn’t mean that this rule doesn’t still apply.
Don’t bring your lunch to your meeting
Just as drinking can be a distraction, eating can also be an annoyance for many co-workers on the chat. Since we all have to stare at a screen, people may be more interested in the person eating rather than the speaker. Not to mention, if your mic isn’t muted, the sound of chewing can be a huge turn off to people.
Now, some companies may be totally fine with their employees eating on screen. Sometimes it can be difficult to squeeze in a meal when you have multiple Zoom meetings per day. In an article for Toggl, Videt Jaiswal, Founder of Airblack, said that he prefers his team to keep their cameras on. “We have a rule that if it’s a Zoom call, then your video should be on. We’re meeting to solve a problem, so we need to see if we’re on the same page,” he said. He then followed it up by saying that when it came to eating – he was totally fine with it.
Always ask your boss what is acceptable – but maybe hold off on the munching when with a client. Nobody wants to see what’s in your mouth while talking about financial investments or a product.
It seems like there are so many rules to follow in this new age of video chatting, but always revert back to your common sense – think to yourself,
How would this look to a client? What would my coworkers think if I did this on the call? Always try to be polite, professional and try not to cause a big distraction – like eating – during a meeting.