16 Common Virtual Meeting Mistakes (+How To Avoid Them)

16 Common Virtual Meeting Mistakes (+How To Avoid Them)

16 Common Virtual Meeting Mistakes (+How To Avoid Them)

Regardless of the business, meetings are an essential component of any firm. It’s a means of helping others feel seen and welcomed. Meetings provide an opportunity for staff members to speak with management one-on-one and voice their concerns.

Meetings held merely for the purpose of holding meetings, however, are a mistake that wastes important time for your company. Meetings can enhance an organization’s overall performance when conducted effectively.

The pandemic has had a profound impact on the world in the last year. Quickly converting to a virtual work environment in light of the social distancing criteria is what allowed numerous businesses to thrive.

More than a year later, some nations are starting to recover, while others are still dealing with the serious effects of the epidemic. Nevertheless, a lot of businesses have promised to keep their policies allowing remote work. Considering all the advantages, working from home is really advantageous.

One thing has remained constant throughout all of these changes: working well as a team is essential. Virtual meetings appear to be the exclusive means of accomplishing that.

It is difficult to make meetings productive and interesting. You have a challenge that will never cease when you add a pandemic that affects the entire world. Fortunately, your company may steer clear of these frequent virtual roadblocks for successful meetings. Let’s go right in.

1. Not Turning on Video

Many stop using their webcams when the initial excitement of virtual meetings wears off. It may seem optional, but you should always have your camera on.

Participation and cooperation are the goals of meetings. Furthermore, it’s not exactly clear that a manager or speaker addressing a group of black screens can inspire anyone. Turning on your camera is the only way to replicate the atmosphere of an in-person meeting. Seeing each other is important for interpreting nonverbal clues, which is crucial for smooth communication.

Also, a lot of people have felt alone during the pandemic. Furthermore, it helps to see a few familiar faces.

2. Anticipating an Extremely Professional At-Home Environment

As was already mentioned, companies had to quickly transition to virtual operations. Furthermore, nobody had nearly enough time to organize a home office. Additionally, it’s likely that your staff members live with their families or housemates.

Thus, it is impossible to anticipate a fully professional setting free from distractions or noise. It’s important to remember that the other family members own the place as well. There could be a pet running into the room or a sobbing child of someone else. The world won’t end because of it! Recognize it calmly and move on.

3. Never Using Mute

Try to limit the interruptions you can, even though there are some that are beyond your control. You’re only making more noise in the meeting if you keep your microphone on. Unless you have something to say, mute yourself to make the meeting easier to hear.

It is challenging to read body language and nonverbal signs, even with video. You can also convey your desire to contribute to the debate by muting and unmuting yourself.

4. Never Turning Off Mute

Every meeting has some silent attendees who would much prefer be somewhere else. You don’t have to talk merely to be involved; nevertheless, if you have something to say, make every effort to say it.

Even though you might believe that sending a message or email at a later time won’t have the same effect as voicing your thoughts and ideas in person. Additionally, you can support a coworker who is presenting a presentation by saying positive things to them.

5. Not Using Headphones

Headphones are your best friend when working remotely. Headphones are essential for both speaking and hearing clearly, especially in virtual meetings. It is worth investing in a good pair of headphones, regardless of what you are talking about—your next LinkedIn automation plan or the curriculum you are writing for kindergarteners. This gadget will guarantee that you can focus in a noisy setting.

6. Too Many Meetings

Too many meetings, whether in person or virtually, can ruin someone’s day. Instead of dreading meetings, you want your employees to look forward to discussing and presenting their ideas.

The workflow is interrupted when too many meetings are scheduled for each day. If calendars are used in your company, it’s a good idea to set aside specific periods of the day when you’re most productive. Determining a day of the week for meeting scheduling is another method of limiting the number of meetings.

7. Unsuitable Devices

To attend meetings and perform well at work, employees require a suitable workspace at home. Antiquated technologies will present challenges. To ensure smooth operations, make sure your staff members have the newest software and the appropriate gadgets.

8. Not Having a Backup Plan

Tech problems are inevitable and might range from an unreliable WiFi connection to unforeseen program changes. You can use your smartphone to participate in internal team meetings or request a leave of absence.

But smartphone attendance won’t work for a meeting with a significant client or investor. A backup plan ought to be in place in case something goes wrong. Ideally, share your presentation with a teammate so they can take over in case of technological difficulties.

9. Latecomers

It’s a big mistake to be late for in-person meetings. What makes virtual meetings any different, then? If the presenters have to reiterate everything they have already covered, it is a waste of everyone’s time.

It seems sense that you might be having personal or technical difficulties that are preventing you from arriving on time. Nevertheless, you want to let the host know in advance rather than showing up late and telling them.

It’s also critical that managers give the team plenty of notice when they will be holding meetings. Virtual meetings need some preparation, in contrast to most in-person meetings where attendance is mandatory.

10. Disregarding Accessibility

Consider including live captions in your virtual meetings to make them as inclusive and accessible as feasible. Both engagement and retention are enhanced by captions. Naturally, it’s crucial for workers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

11. Switching Tabs

During a virtual meeting, it can be tempting to multitask by opening a different tab. This is a certain method to become distracted throughout the meeting. To avoid becoming distracted, don’t open any other tabs.

12. Not Making it Fun

If virtual meetings are conducted in an extremely formal manner, employees will become disinterested. Typically, pre- and post-meeting offers allow staff members to socialize and establish connections.

Try making virtual meetings more enjoyable and interesting for your team instead of adding yet another source of stress. Allow your staff to have some informal conversation space. On Fridays, a lot of companies have happy hour or trivia night to assist their staff decompress.

13. Business on Top, Party on Bottom

The ability to work from home in comfortable clothes is one of its main advantages. Hooray! No more tight pants or ridiculous shoes!

Since all eyes are on your upper body during virtual meetings, it has become increasingly common to dress to impress. However, as a number of viral films will demonstrate, it’s advisable to consider your lower body as well. What happens if you have to go fetch something from the other room or close the door? It’s likely that you won’t hesitate to get up.

This is not the way to become the next big thing on the internet, whether it’s a humiliating decision to wear sweatpants or no pants at all. It is recommended that you dress appropriately but comfortably.

14. You’re on Your Phone

It is just rude to glance at your phone all the time, whether you are attending a meeting or on a date. First off, there’s a widespread misperception that participants in virtual meetings cannot see whether you’re using your phone. They can, though.

It can draw you in, even if you tell yourself you’ll only take a quick peek. Before you realize it, you are no longer even paying attention to the meeting.

For the length of the conference, it would be advisable to switch off your notifications and refrain from receiving personal calls.

15. Inappropriate Background or Username

Avoid selecting an arbitrary nickname or background for your online meetings. It is inappropriate in a professional context, but acceptable for friends and family. It must be uncomplicated and devoid of interruptions.

16. Sending Private Messages

During a virtual meeting, sending private messages to your office buddy is a surefire way to get into trouble. First of all, posting jokes and tales about yourself on a formal channel is not professional. Second, the host of Zoom chat has access to even private messages. Reputational damage might result from incorrect remarks. Thus, keep it to yourself and share it later unless you have something important to share with everyone.

Alternatively, consider making a list of everything you feel is significant and sending out an email after the meeting or video chat. If you have something essential to say that you don’t want to be misunderstood, you can make sure you take the time to properly order your thoughts. It also comes off as much more professional. For added professionalism, you can even use a trustworthy writing program or spell check your email before sending it.


You may increase the general effectiveness and productivity of your online collaborations by being aware of typical mistakes made during virtual meetings and taking proactive measures to avoid them. To have a more productive and pleasurable remote work experience, remain informed, stay connected, and confidently manage virtual meetings.”

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