Best Practices for Conducting Online and Virtual Meetings

Online meetings can be a valuable time saver and are becoming the standard way many people work in a telework or remote work environment. Since body language and non-visual cues are sometimes not available it is important to be mindful of communicating effectively using online meeting tools such as WebEx or Go to Meeting. To conduct quality and effective meetings means being more familiar with online meeting tools and protocol. Here are some tips;

Be Prepared

Make sure to be prepared before an online meeting. Video conferencing will tend to magnify any lack of preparation. Make sure to have all documentation easily accessible and within reach. In real life, leaning over to look at a paper portfolio may not be a big deal, but if a person disappears from the screen to get something, it can make the person look disorganized.

Connect 5-10 minutes early to online meetings. If there are any technical issues, make sure to know about them ahead of time. This is particularly true if a person is using a web conferencing system that they are not familiar with.

Document Sharing

Use the document sharing tool in the online meeting tool to review, edit and view documents. Learn about the annotation tools within tool that can highlight, mark and review documents for easy visual recording of changes.


When conducting online meetings, use the chat feature to engage the audience. Ask questions and allow participants to chat in their answers then, review and share responses. Use the chat function to ask and answer questions or make comments during the meeting with one, some, or all of the participants.

Start and End on Time

Meetings that start late or run over can create unnecessary stress for everyone in attendance. Respect attendee’s time by adhering to the online meeting schedule. Most web conferencing applications have automated reminders that will notify attendees via e-mail when the online meeting has started.


Remote Work Environments: Protocol Working in a Shared Space

Along with benefits of improved productivity and reduced commute time, there are challenges in remote, mobile and telework environments. One challenge is working in a smaller shared space in close proximity with others. In smaller shared environments, it is important to be more conscientious of others. Here are a few tips when working in remote work environments.

  • Be mindful of volume when talking. When needing extensive conversations, or in the case certain individuals might be louder speakers, use the quiet rooms.
  • Make sure to organize and clear off the desk area nightly before leaving the office. Put back any office supplies and/ kitchen items so that the desk is ready for another staff member.
  • If a larger space is needed and/or two desk areas to do work is needed then make sure to communicate with colleagues.
  • Mute volume on phone and computer. When possible mute the phone and computer if the noises might be distracting to others. Consider using a headset if the ringers and alarms are necessary.