Zoom Do's. Zoom Don'ts.

Bob Goldman on

Don't throw your cat.

In video meeting etiquette, that's Rule No. 1.

A Vallejo, California, planning commissioner interrupted a video meeting to "introduce my cat" -- perfectly normal and totally acceptable business behavior. But once said tabby had met the other participants, the planner casually flung his cat off camera. The cat landed with a thump. So did the commissioner. The public uproar was so loud that the comish had to resign his position.

(If he had thrown his hamster or his gerbil or even his ferret, the response would have been muted, but you don't mess with cat people. They're mean.)

In a better world, not throwing your cat would be the one and only rule you would have to learn. But now, with most business meetings online, an entirely new etiquette is required.

It's a downside of businesses going virtual. They have taken away our donuts, but they have given us rules.


Joyce E.A. Russell knows all about these rules. As the dean of the Villanova School of Business, Russell recently laid down the laws in a post on Forbes. You now know Rule No. 1. Here are a few more:

Rule No. 2: "Check your technology before it is time for the call."

I know money is tight now, but it might be time to upgrade your home computer. The Atari 400 you bought in 1992 is still a good, solid machine, and perfect for playing Pac-Man. For a serious business computer, a good choice would be the Sinclair ZX80. It was introduced in 1980 and is still a sweet machine, but don't wait until your next meeting to make the change. The ZX80 sold in kit form only, so you've got a lot of soldering to do.

Rule No. 3: "Start the meeting on time."


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