There seem to be a lot of comments going round at the moment about waving on Zoom. I personally find it nice and cheerful – So I am clearly a waver! So I thought I’d give my ideas about it.

I think as you enter a zoom room, especially if there are lots of people there, most of us wave as a form of manners to announce your arrival rather than interrupt perhaps a flow of conversation that is going on. In fact if an arrival just sat there and did not bother to say hello or wave it might look a bit weird, perhaps a little impolite or even unfriendly. If you consider – would you walk into a room of people and not bother to say hello or give some acknowledgement? Probably not….

End of Zooms – now this is where the most waving seems to go on. – Some people say they never wave or give an acknowledging hand as they leave ‘real’ meetings, but I think I do normally wave my way out of a meeting room, normally along with a cheery “goodbye” – if only by just raising my hand. But I think on zoom that is definitely more pronounced!

So maybe we all just have better/more heightened manners on Zoom? Or non-wavers have been taught to wave by the wavers of this world and maybe they like it so much it has stuck!

Interestingly I am waving goodbye to clients too (rather than just in meetings) and I wouldn’t normally do that if I had seen them in the therapy room, but I think perhaps it’s because this is the norm of Zoom now, and they do it too. Social manners have had to develop for our new form of communication. And I would presume as most people do it, it has now become the new social norm.

I just wish I could stop blowing everyone kisses at the end of a session!!

But while we are talking about Zoom manners (perhaps I should write a leaflet) ……..
I personally think one of the rudest things is to sit through a Zoom meeting without turning on the video/camera. Now sometimes people do have an issue with faulty technology (see below if you need a new webcam), but more often than not it is done on purpose. I think that is like going to a meeting and turning your back on everyone, or attending a lecture with a bag over your head. If it is because you couldn’t be bothered to get dressed, then really you shouldn’t have turned up for the meeting. Just because it is over Zoom it doesn’t mean manners aren’t noticed (see above for the new social norm for Zoom manners)

Arrive in good time –It is always annoying waiting for dribs and drabs to arrive, Would you arrive 5 minutes late if it was for a Zoom interview (yes they are happening) or with your boss for your annual work review? (yes, they are happening too) Just think if you are there in good time you can even check your camera is working! (and re-boot, or check the leads if necessary)

Oh, and microphones – People are still forgetting to mute their microphones when they are not speaking, which in a meeting is not only considered bad manners, but also it’s pretty essential. We don’t want to hear your dog bark, we don’t want to know that your child wants a poo, and we also don’t want to hear you eating your crisps.

And for goodness sakes…. Please no one forget….. Don’t take your meeting to the loo with you, like one unfortunate lady did … yes, that went viral….. (good to know her waterworks are in order though)

So here are my basic zoom manners

  1. Arrive in good time and look like you are attending a meeting or consultation (brush hair, get dressed etc)
  2. Give a small greeting. If you don’t want to join the waving brigade, a smile or a nod will do
  3. Mute your microphone when it’s not in use
  4. If you want to speak it is often considered good manners to raise your hand before you speak, and wait your turn
  5. Do not record the meeting without consent
  6. Don’t forget the wave at the end…. Or at least a smile before you go (blowing kisses is optional)

Final note….
But my techie husband would disagree – he attends meetings with other techies and they do not bother with much greeting at all, (I suppose they grunt a bit) and often they don’t put their cameras on as it takes bandwidth. But most of us aren’t techies – let’s leave them to their norm while we get on with ours…..

Hmm, I wonder what Debretts says about Zoom manners?

Agree or disagree? Head over to the forums to have your say.

For all of you who don’t have your video on because your camera is broken or doesn’t work why not get a new one! The Logitech C920 HD is generally the best one but feel free to look at the others.

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Jane Clark is a Hypnotherapist based in High Wycombe, Bucks and online. She is the creator of Hypno HQ. Jane is happy to answer questions you may have about Zoom meetings.

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