zoom etiquette

Zoom Meeting Etiquettes for Everyone | Updated 2024

Virtual meetings are the new norm. So, is it truly acceptable to show up in sweatpants, eat on the call, and keep your camera turned off?

While there may be differences between in-person meetings and virtual meetings, it’s important to still show up and conduct yourself with proper etiquette.

Today, we’ll share our top 8 Zoom etiquette tips and what bad Zoom etiquette you need to avoid.

8 Zoom Etiquette for Everyone

1. Be on timezoom meeting etiquette- on timeImage

They say timeliness is next to godliness, and there’s definitely truth to this statement. Unlike an in-person meeting, you have no excuse when it comes to traffic or car troubles and running late for a meeting.

Take all Zoom meetings just as seriously as you would an in-person meeting, including arriving on time for the meeting. Arriving late sends a clear message to others on the call that you don’t value their time, which doesn’t feel good for anyone involved.

If possible, we recommend arriving five to fifteen minutes early so that you have time to chat with your host and co-hosts before the meeting and extra time to troubleshoot your device in case anything goes wrong.

2. Pay attention to mute

zoom meeting etiquette - muteImage

Paying attention to mute when in a Zoom meeting is essential for keeping the meeting running smoothly and saving yourself from embarrassment. If you’re at home, being on mute can prevent barking dogs, background noise, or your children playing from distracting other people in the meeting.

Fortunately, this is an easy tip to follow. Simply pay attention to your mute function while on the call. If you’re not talking, mute yourself on Zoom. When it’s your turn to speak, take an extra second to ensure you are unmuted. Being muted while speaking can come across as unprofessional and slow down the meeting’s progress, so don’t skip this step.

We also recommend familiarizing yourself with other Zoom controls, such as how to use the chat and the record button. Do this before hopping on the call so you will not be stuck with troubleshooting during the meeting.

3. Test your device before meeting to get a better experience

zoom meeting etiquette - test your device Image

Before you hop on the Zoom call, test that your microphone and camera are working correctly. Zoom automatically prompts you to allow access to your microphone and camera. It will also offer the ability to test your microphone and view your video preview.

Take a few minutes before the call to ensure that Zoom is picking up your audio and you can see yourself clearly. Double-check that your Internet connection is stable. While everyone knows what it’s like to have a lagging Internet, it can be distracting. So, check that your Internet connection is strong before the call. If it’s not, consider moving to another part of your home or going to a coffee shop with Wi-Fi for a better meeting experience.

We always recommend using video when you can to make the meeting more engaging for everyone. After all, Zoom meetings are meant to simulate an in-person meeting and seeing other people’s reactions and faces is an important part of this.

4. Check your background and environment

zoom meeting etiquette -  check your environmentImage

Consider what your background and environment behind you look like. If possible, set up your Zoom call in a home office with a nice bookshelf or desk behind you. If you don’t have a professional background, a blank wall can be a good choice and makes it appear like you have a home office for other meeting participants.

In addition to choosing the best background available, make sure your background is tidy. A cluttered background looks unprofessional and can be distracting. You’ll also want to ensure that you are well-lit and in a private area, where you won’t be interrupted by kids or pets. To blur your Zoom background or use virtual background is also a good choice when you don't have the time to find a proper background.

5. Plan Ahead

zoom meeting etiquette -  plan ahead


Always come prepared for your Zoom meeting. Before the meeting, go over all your notes for the meeting and double-check that you have everything you need for the call.

We recommend checking for:

● Do I have all relevant files and presentation information?

● Do I have my laptop charger?

● Do I have a pen and paper to take notes?

● Have I set up any software I need to record and transcribe the meeting, such as Notta?

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6. Dress Properly

zoom meeting etiquette - dress properly


Always dress appropriately for your Zoom meeting. Showing up in your sweatpants or pajamas looks unprofessional and sloppy.

Consider the formality and nature of the work meeting. When in doubt, dress up more than you think you need. Overdressing will always look better than underdressing. In most cases, you’ll want to dress in “business casual” attire and have a tidy appearance. Take time to shave, brush your hair and teeth, apply makeup if you would wear makeup to the office, and put on neat clothing, a nice watch, or jewelry.

We don’t recommend only dressing professionally on top and wearing sweatpants or leggings. You never know when you may need to get up to grab a file or close the door if your children come in, so don’t risk the embarrassment of your coworkers seeing your sweatpants.

7 . Minimize Distractions

zoom meeting etiquette - minimize distractions


Before your Zoom meeting, clear out as many distractions as possible. This may include:

● Putting away your phone

● Finding a quiet space with no pets or children

● Clearing clutter behind you

● Closing out all emails and irrelevant web pages

● Avoiding social media

● Not multitasking 

As a general rule, multitasking during a meeting is rude to everyone else. You might miss important information or miss being called on. Both are embarrassing and unprofessional situations that you can avoid by giving the call your full attention and minimizing audio or video distractions that other participants may be bothered by.

8. Don’t Eat, Smoke, or Drink

zoom meeting etiquette - no eat or drink


It’s unlikely that you would eat a sandwich or drink a smoothie during an in-person meeting. So, be courteous to others and don’t eat, smoke, chew gum, or drink beverages while on the call. 

Drinking, eating, or smoking on the Zoom call can be loud, noisy, and unpleasant to watch. Nobody wants to hear you chewing or watch you spill food on your shirt. Skip eating or drinking altogether while on your Zoom call, save for drinking water or coffee.

5 Zoom Meeting Etiquette for Meeting Host

1. Privacy first

zoom meeting etiquette for meeting owner - Privacy First


Keep your Zoom meeting private by only giving meeting participants the join link or meeting ID. Make sure that everyone invited has the join link or meeting ID before the meeting and ask that this information is not shared with anyone else. You can also set an additional access password on top of the meeting ID for an extra layer of security.

If other people get ahold of this information, they may crash the meeting throwing off the flow of your meeting and the plan, and causing distractions.

We recommend locking the meeting once all of the intended attendees are present as an extra measure to prevent crashers.

2. Only invite people who need to be at the meeting

zoom meeting etiquette for meeting owner - Invite Necessary People


Limit your meeting invite list by only inviting people who truly need to be there. Too many meetings are filled with people who don’t need to be there, effectively slowing down the meeting’s productivity and using up unnecessary work hours.

In addition, more people in a meeting lead to more opportunities for distractions, such as people arriving late, more background noise, and interruptions when too many people try to join in.

3. Set an Agenda

zoom meeting etiquette for meeting owner - Have an Agenda


Before the meeting, sit down and determine the purpose of the meeting, then create an invite list. When sending out meeting invitations, include a copy of the meeting agenda and any materials participants need to read ahead of time. Give everyone pointers before the meeting so that the meeting can be run more efficiently and prevent people from going off on tangents.

If people get off on a tangent anyway, politely cut them off and get the meeting back on track. Referencing the plan is a great way to remind people what topics you should discuss.

4. Establish Ground Rules

zoom meeting etiquette for meeting owner - Ground Rules


Set ground rules and structure for your meeting. In addition to the meeting agenda, take a moment at the beginning of the meeting to introduce people who don’t know each other. This can improve and inspire more open communication and collaboration.

Share any ground rules for the meeting. Consider the following points:

● Should participants ask questions during a presentation? Or hold their questions until the end?

● Do you want people to stay on mute if they aren’t talking?

● Remind everyone about the schedule and the time window you have for the meeting.

● Set rules for the chat. Should people use the chat to share questions or additional information? Do you want to prevent people from discussing social topics during the meeting? State this at the beginning of the meeting.

5. Control the Meeting

zoom meeting etiquette for meeting owner - Control Meeting


Lastly, don’t be afraid to put your foot down. Mute, unmute, and remove meeting attendees if needed. If people crash the meeting, remove them. If someone keeps forgetting to mute themselves despite being reminded, mute them yourself.

Use your controls to allow screen sharing for attendees when possible.

 If your meeting will not be over soon, we recommend providing everyone with a quick five-minute break to use the bathroom, refill their water, and stretch. This step can keep participants more engaged and focused, creating a smoother, more productive meeting.

Quick Do’s and Don’ts checklist for your Zoom meeting

Keep the following quick do’s and don’ts for Zoom meetings in mind before hopping on your next call:

Do Don’t
Listen carefully to the speaker Hear what was said and move on without digesting it
Close the meeting with a clear message End the meeting abruptly
Allow time for questions Shun questions altogether
Follow an agenda Try to wing it
Speak clearly Don’t shout or speak lowly
Be considerate of others Don’t interrupt or talk over others
Maintain eye contact by looking into your webcam Don’t look at your screen or place the webcam too low or high


1. Is it rude to have my camera off during a Zoom meeting?

Yes, it is rude to have your camera off during a Zoom meeting. Zoom meetings are meant to simulate an in-person meeting, so seeing each other’s faces and expressions during the meeting is an essential part of connecting during the call. Showing up to a Zoom meeting and not turning your camera on can also indicate a lack of interest in the meeting, which you don’t want.

2. Can I drink water during a Zoom meeting?

Yes, you can drink water during a Zoom meeting. We recommend only drinking water or coffee during Zoom meetings and never eating or smoking while on the call. If possible, make sure you are on mute while drinking water and take small, quiet sips. No one wants to hear others drinking or slurping their drink.

3. What should you not do in a Zoom meeting?

Things you should not do in a Zoom meeting include constantly typing on your keyboard, keeping your camera off, eating during the meeting, or having too much background noise. We also recommend always dressing professionally and checking that your background is decluttered and tidy.

4. What are the housekeeping rules for Zoom meetings?

The housekeeping rules for Zoom meetings are similar to in-person meetings. Before the meeting, prepare for the meeting by closing out of extra web pages, social media, and anything else that will be distracting during your call. Keep your phone in a drawer or on the other side of the room to avoid checking your phone. We also recommend keeping your camera on, showing up early, and speaking loudly and clearly so others can hear you easily.


Great Zoom meeting etiquette can make you stand out from the crowd and impress your boss or clients. Take these quick, simple steps today to make yourself appear more professional and confident. We also recommend checking out Notta to transcribe your Zoom meeting. With Notta, you can transcribe your Zoom meeting and create helpful meeting notes for anyone that missed the meeting and for your own reference.

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