Zoom Etiquette at Womenclimb
Almost everyone has moved online thanks to the Covid-19 crisis, and with this we are navigating new ways of working. Womenclimb is no exception; we have transformed our wonderful outdoor meetups (which we are missing, a lot) into varied and interesting online activities to engage our brains, keep us healthy and provide crucial connections for the climbing community. Most of our activities are on Zoom, so today, we are bringing you a short guide to help you decide what’s acceptable and what’s not, at Womenclimb Zoom sessions. Our sessions are NOT formal work meetings, so these guidelines don’t apply in the workplace or more formal settings.
Position: ideally, set up your camera at eye level, on a stable surface where it is propped up. You can use stacked books for this – no need for expensive equipment.
Stable vs hand-held: a hand-held device moves around and this can induce sea-sickness to other users. In our sessions, you are likely to be participating in activities, so propping up your device will free up your hands to take part.
Lighting: position the light source facing you. Having lights behind your head means people can’t see you properly as you are in silhouette.
You have a busy life and we recognise that you might want to bring your dinner, make your dinner, move around, do handstands or generally be a little more active while you participate in our sessions. That is 100% fine, because we want you to feel relaxed. At Womenclimb Zoom sessions, you can stand up, walk round… do what you want. Why? We are not sedentary creatures. We need to move. If you have been sitting all day, we want to give you and ourselves the opportunity to move around, and for this to be a normal part of our sessions.
The only thing we ask: mute yourself. The noise of cooking and other activities is off putting for other attendees.
Seen but not heard
Getting familiar with the mute button on your screen will help you to make life bearable for the other people on Zoom with you. A dog barking, doors opening and closing or a beeping noise in the background may not sound loud to you, but on Zoom these things can be amplified. This can be particularly difficult for people with ADHD, autism, or any kind of sensory processing issue. If you’re not participating in the discussion, get into the habit of putting yourself on mute, to help keep a calm environment.
Using your voice
This is a whole new and different experience on a conference call. It can be hard to know when to talk and each meeting is different. At Womenclimb sessions we will do our best to navigate this. You can raise your hand if you have something you’d like to share and are not confident to speak out. Sometimes we will ask you if you would like to say something. This is not to single you out, but is a way of ensuring that individuals have opportunities to contribute their knowledge, skills, questions or comments. A great way to ask a question is to write it in the chat – you can address everyone, or just the meeting host, so you can maintain privacy if you feel shy or unsure.
Find you spoke over someone? Don’t worry, we all do it, as it can be hard to gauge who’s speaking next. Try changing your viewing setting to ‘Gallery’ to make things a little easier.
You can wear whatever you like. If you want to dress up in your climbing gear, we would encourage you to do that. Want to wear your PJ’s? Go for it. We want to stress that Womenclimb sessions are not a business meeting – they are a space for our community to come together. We don’t make judgments and we ask that you extend that culture to everyone in our Zooms.
Womenclimb Zoom activities are designed for you, as participants. You have the right to participate as little or as much as you want. You can turn up, keep yourself on mute and turn off your video while you watch live, or you can be a more active participant by communicating through written chat. This means that if you feel nervous or don’t want to be on screen, you don’t have to. Most people want to be fully involved and make themselves visible, talk and ask questions. Seeing a face does help people to connect, but sometimes that isn’t right for people. Respect the choices of others, and do the thing that is right for you. The choice is yours.
For most parents this is a stressful time. Some people find it difficult to find childcare for a Zoom session and other people like to have a reason to close the door and have a quiet space to themselves, away from the children. You can bring your children to the session. If they are making noise, even in the background, please turn yourself to mute and use the chat to communicate.
Furry little ones
If they are making noise while you’re talking or if they are distracting you from the content, it makes sense to put them in another room where they can’t be heard. Otherwise, pets are welcome to join.
Womenclimb Zoom sessions will be recorded and may be made available to watch in the future. This means that your name will be visible and anything you say or do on screen will be visible to others who watch it in the future. Consider this when you join the session.
Entering and leaving sessions
For some of our sessions you can come and go as you please, but with others, the doors will close at a set time and you won’t be able to enter. Check in advance so you arrive on time. If you’re late and entry is still open, it means that you can drop-in and catch up as you like.
It is perfectly acceptable to leave a Womenclimb session without saying goodbye, because your time is valuable and you may have other things to do. Feel confident to do this knowing that this is our culture. If you want to say goodbye, you can leave a comment in the chat.
Sometimes, you may enter a session and realise it isn’t for you. In this scenario, you have 100% permission to leave the session or you may mute yourself and turn off video if you feel uncomfortable to leave the session. The choice is yours.
Something bothering you?
Let the meeting organiser know if there is something bothering you – perhaps someone has left their speaker on and their dog is barking, for example. To let them know, use the private chat function.
We are looking forward to seeing you online.