Mind Your Manners: 5 Essential Etiquette When Attending a Conference Call
Conference calls can be a fun and exciting way to catch up with friends and relatives from far away. Getting in touch from across the globe is becoming more like a face-to-face conversation with video streaming technology and internet connection multiplying over the years.
But conference calls aren’t just for occasional homesick discussions, they are also critical components for business operations.
With the impact of remote work changing the traditional office-work dynamics, more and more businesses are offering home-based positions that fit more with their employees’ schedules.
Conference calls are becoming the norm for businesses, not just in speaking with business partners, but also in communicating with company teams and departments. Thus, keeping it professional is a must.
Keep these five conference call manners in mind during one’s next online meeting.
Being able to work on their terms is one of the modern mindsets that the new generation of employees have in applying for a job. Conference calls solve the issue of not being able to meet in person, whether it be nearby in town or across the globe.
Since different people work with varying hours of work, it’s essential to know the availability of everyone in the call.
If a disruption during the call will happen, it’s a common courtesy to let the other parties know of this beforehand. If it’s not as relevant and as urgent, then the conference call should be the priority.
However, requests can be excused depending on the severity of the emergency.
Introduce or Be Introduced in the Call
An essential part of every meeting is knowing everyone around the table. It’s vital to be clear in understanding one’s place in the conference call, especially if it’s the first time speaking with fellow employees.
An excellent first impression can make the flow of the dialogue easier later on for everyone to address one another with comments and feedback.
Prepare the Tools for the Call
Multitasking is an everyday necessity during audio or video calls. Because conference calls are online, a person attending it must still have all the necessary tools set up during a live meeting.
Preparing notes, important business folders, and files; opening different tabs ahead, and having a copy of the agenda will make it easier to follow the flow of the conversation.
Hardware plays an integral part in one’s ability to handle multiple tasks online. Without spending too much, one can enjoy a high-resolution visual experience. Simply purchase a refurbished device to manage various apps during a conference call, especially for video calls.
By allowing its user to navigate through multiple windows and desktops, an employee doesn’t risk losing the flow of the conversation during the call.
Open Up about Location
Not everyone has access to a desktop and laptop setup during online meetings. Though ill-advised, people can accept conference calls on their phones for those who cannot commit to having a stable home setup. But the advantages of mobility in real-time can become a problem during the call.
Moving from place to place can be a cause for unnecessary noise and network disruptions, causing a delay in the delivery of audio and video. Going across the street or living near an ongoing construction project can lead to unintended distractions.
To avoid shocking or alarming the rest of the people in the meeting, it’s best to give them a heads-up on one’s current location, whether one chooses to take a call through a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
Summarize Individual Assignments
One of the cons of having a conference call meeting is that the parties involved cannot see each other in person. The implications of not knowing what someone is doing on the opposite end of the line could lead to miscommunications.
As with any meeting, stating a plan at the start and reviewing important points after everything is said is crucial for good memory recall.
At the end of the session, it’s vital to recap everyone’s takeaways and tasks to tackle any need for clarifications.
As with live meetings, conference call meetings have their ups and downs. Though it allows for greater freedom in one’s own time, it also brings to the table different challenges that one should learn to face.
However, what doesn’t change during meetings online or offline is the importance of being transparent, polite, and professional during a session.
Professionalism, whether across the table or in front of a screen, is a trait that everyone should practice.