The work-from-home regime means video calls have been the centre of all team meetings for a while now. Video call faux pas are common, from cross-talk, to unwanted visitors, to the dreaded “you’re on mute”. But what are the most irritating habits of all?
We recently carried out a survey to find out what people find most annoying on video calls, and the results might surprise you...
Top Ten Most Annoying Video Call Traits:
- Losing internet connection
- People with poor internet connections
- People interrupting the speaker
- People joining late
- Participants eating on calls whilst not muted
- Having to remind people they’re on mute
- People not putting their camera on
- Someone looking away from the screen
- Heavy breathing
- Someone loudly typing on the keyboard
To avoid irritating any family, friends or colleagues, here is our advice on how to be low-key on Zoom:
Pets Interrupting Calls
This can be a common issue for animal loving households, where it’s sometimes very difficult to keep your cat or dog from gatecrashing your call, but you can avoid this following these easy steps:
• Establish no attention boundaries – Whilst it is important to be affectionate with your pet, having consistent times in the day where you give them no attention will help them become used to entertaining themselves and therefore being less disruptive.
• Maintain a work and home routine – Even though you’re working from home it can be beneficial to stick to routines with your pet you may have adopted whilst going to the office, such as keeping a dog in one room. Follow the same workday routine where possible.
• Give yourself some distance – If you are working from home, it is important to spend some part of your working day in a room closed off from your pet, to get them used to you not being there all the time and making it less likely for them to charge into your virtual meetings.
Eating on calls
Sometimes you just need an afternoon snack, but while you may not realise you're doing it, the sound of chewing is one that rubs people up the wrong way. Here’s how to keep it quiet while on call:
• Choose quieter foods - avoid things like crisps or crunchy lettuce leaves that would make more noise when chewing than something like a yoghurt or sandwich.
• Plan your meals and snacks around any video calls - try to dedicate certain time slots to when you can eat food so that you avoid doing it while on video calls.
• If you have no choice but to eat on Zoom, mute yourself so your fellow Zoomers don’t have to hear you chewing. Take the extra steps to turn off your camera, for those who might find eating during a meeting rude or disturbing.
Showing up late
If you have trouble with timekeeping, make sure to follow these steps. Being late to a meeting can set everyone back, and have a domino effect on the days schedule:
• Set alarms leading up to any meetings - the more alarms, the more you are going to be reminded of its importance and can wrap up what you are doing prior.
• Plan all your tasks for the day around your meetings, as they are just as important as any personal tasks, and you don’t want to let people down.
• Make sure you get up early - set up your desk for the day, including all your documents, technology, pens, paper, food and water so that you have everything you need in preparation.
Poor internet connection
There are steps you can take to ensure a more stable and consistent connection prior to joining a call:
• Find a place to work in the house where your Wi-Fi connection is the strongest, is it possible to work close to the router?
• Establish a wired connection to the router, if possible, which is more stable and usually results in faster internet too.
• Pause any downloading or uploading files which could take up precious bandwidth.
• Close all your other non-essential applications to ensure that your laptop or computer has the processing power to run your call smoothly.
• Disable HD video using the settings within the app to reduce the chances of any lag or crashes.
There are some easy measures you can adopt whilst on video calls to make sure you don’t end up talking over colleagues or disrupting the meeting with background noise:
• Take notes - If you are writing information down whilst others are speaking, it’ll keep you occupied whilst ensuring you won’t feel the need to talk whilst someone else is.
• Use in-call features to help – Most video call platforms have a “raise hand” feature, which shows the speaker you have something to say and allows them to bring you into the conversation naturally without interruption.
• Pretend you’re an interviewer – If you adopt the mindset that you’re perhaps interviewing someone, you’re far more likely to listen to them and really absorb what they are saying before speaking.
Follow these tips and your video call etiquette will be sure to improve.