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PRODUCTIVITY

8 ways to cut the chaos on Zoom

By Lynne Curry bio

Question:

Our department’s weekly Zoom meetings are a train wreck. One coworker’s kids pop their heads in front of the screen and wave “hello.” Another guy’s kids are on the other side of the table from where he sits, and they interrupt him when he’s talking to argue with him.

I’m obligated to attend these meetings. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer:

Every train needs a conductor; yours appears to be asleep at the wheel. Zoom meetings go off the rails when those who attend forget that while they’re at home, they’re also at work. If you ask every attendee to observe eight guidelines, it might get your meetings back on track.

  1. Professionalism: Please demonstrate professionalism as well as comfort in your attire.
  2. Use your video feature to show your presence and remain engaged during the meeting. Put your cell phone away so it doesn’t tempt you.
  3. Distracting sounds: Please mute your mic when you’re not talking and please don’t chew or munch when your mike is open. If you have pets or children in the environment, please ask them to minimize their interruptions to the degree possible.
  4. Visual distractions. Please minimize visual distractions and adjust your camera to be at or near eye level. (Note: This guideline doesn’t restrict a nursing mother from breastfeeding if she has a hungry baby and feels the meeting is too important to leave. Not only does federal law require that employees be allowed to express their breastmilk as needed, but breastfeeding in public is legal and protected in all 50states.1A nursing mom can protect herself and her child by draping herself and adjusting her camera so only her face shows and by muting her mic unless she wants to comment. In an incident that made national news, a coworker secretly snapped photos of a breastfeeding coworker.2)
  5. Code of conduct: Remember to comply with our company’s code of conduct, including avoiding comments about protected categories. (A comment about a breastfeeding coworker veers into this territory0. Please be aware of what’s behind you, such as photos that create a hostile environment for members of protected categories. Zoom has a Virtual Background feature for those who need it.
  6. Don’t Zoom and drive, as the distraction might cause an accident.
  7. Don’t use the Zoom chat feature to share private messages to a team member who’s also attending the meeting, as the Zoom chat feature might allow others to view your messages.
  8. Log on early enough to fix connectivity issues. If you plan to share a document or image, practice a share screen trial run. If you’ll need to share your screen, clean up your desktop and close other browser tabs, if you’re working on documents that have personal or confidential information.

Finally, “Meetings Are Us” provides more detail on conducting effective team meetings, https://workplacecoachblog.com/2020/10/meetings-are-us/.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/07/25/public-breastfeeding-now-legal-all-50-states/835372002/

https://cafemom.com/parenting/225977-colleague-takes-photos-of-mom-breastfeeding-on-zoom/350677-according_to_columnist_danny_m_lavery_the_lws_coworker_made_it_their_business

 

 

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