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Virtual Meetings

Do's and Don'ts of Virtual Meetings

Written by Natalia Denisova, PhD VP, Head of Medical Affairs MphaR
March 9, 2023

Remote work has been the new custom for several individuals as branch offices were closed due to the coronavirus. We all know how working from home introduces new concerns, and one of which is managing virtual meetings online.

While video conferences may push some employees out of their usual environment, but look at the bigger picture. If used appropriately, such virtual meetings may be considerably more accurate than conventional meetings.

There’s no denying the fact that doctors and healthcare professionals believe that pharmaceutical industries now see the value of virtual meetings, and therefore, they will continue to utilize these online conferences even after the COVID-19 situation is over.

There are a few Dos and Don'ts to ensure a smoother transition from the hospital conference rooms to a virtual meeting session.

The Dos of Virtual Meetings

1. Assess Your Internet Service

If you want to join a virtual conference session with other fellow doctors but your mic or camera isn't working, then you'll look unprofessional and careless. It is important to always double-check your internet device and virtual meeting setup before the conference. Please make sure that you should setup the built-in microphones or headphones beforehand.

2. Always Be On Time

By being online before the designated hour, you are respecting the schedule of other meeting participants or your pharmaceutical staff. This is so because of course, other individuals will be exasperated if you arrive in the mid of that particular conversation. If the speaker wants to tell you what you missed, this might take up a lot of time.

3. Dress Professionally

When interacting with hospital staff or other healthcare professionals, you may need to dress in "business code" or formal clothes. Undoubtedly, one of the unstated advantages of remote work is that you don't have to change your pajamas.

When you're on a virtual meeting, your hospital employees or colleagues may see you up to your waist. But, try to dress casually with business clothing to preserve professionalism.

4. Cultivate A Relaxed Atmosphere

Even if you're on the phone with other meeting attendees thousands of miles away, you must remain polite and cheerful. This entails paying close attention to the conference speaker, and of course, eliminating all the distractions. While you are on a virtual conference with corresponding physicians, it's a good idea to smile and be confident. It's a simple yet effective strategy for fostering a pleasant environment during virtual meetings.

For your online conference, you must have the proper setup. There may be cases when you have to attend the conference session from a place where other family members in your apartment are also there. Then don’t be disorganized, just try to find a small cozy comfortable place and make an effort to fix the background.

5. Be Vigilant

When you are not speaking or answering to the speaker in any virtual meeting, you should silence or mute your microphone. Perhaps, if there are 10 or more participants or you are the only one other than the presenter – the same strategy works great in both cases. It make you more vigilant, observant and understand the meeting agenda without any difficulties.

6. No Background Noise

Let’s be honest, we're all used to someone being at home with cats or pets growling in the background. It's nothing to be ashamed of but, the best way is to keep your voice down so the meeting doesn't become disrupted. You need to stay calm when unplanned or unexpected things happen at your home. No need to get panicked as doctors and healthcare professionals are trained to tackle sudden situations.

Yes, we've all heard that you need to be ready to appreciate your team members and truly experience your team's cooperation. However, it's OK to switch your camera off sometimes so your fellow physicians get the same attention.

7. Documentation

Conversations may be documented during these informative online sessions. You can also use virtual meeting solutions like MphaR’s digital advisory board, which is an excellent approach to ensure that nothing is lost. These documents or meeting notes can be preserved digitally and distributed to everybody who attended the online session to remind them of what was discussed.

To ensure ultimate clarity and comprehension, you should keep a record of everything that had been addressed and said.

The Don'ts of Virtual Meeting Etiquette

1. Don't Take Your Phone to Inappropriate Places

When you go to the bathroom, don't bring your device with you. Although this rule should be obvious, but a surprising proportion of participants need to be reminded not to bring their smartphones, laptop, or earphones into the washroom during a virtual conference.

While it's funny to imagine someone joining the meeting and engaging in a video conference from their bathroom, it’s not okay! Of course, you don't want people laughing at you for doing just that. That’s not professionalism!

2. Don't Limit Virtual Meetings to Work-Related Topics

Virtual meetings are important for your day to day routine tasks. But, keep in mind that you should schedule some meetings to get your team together. Unquestionably, collaboration and communication may enhance cooperation and improve your team's efficiency in addition to improving employee satisfaction.

3. Don't Drink Or Eat Anything

Nothing is more repellant than watching someone eat their breakfast, snack, or lunch while seated in front of an online session screen. Either eat before or after the meeting as hygiene and professionalism both are important. As a healthcare professional, it’s your obligation to acknowledge these matters.

4. Don't Intervene

All doctors or physicians in the virtual meeting session should have an opportunity to talk without being interrupted. Evidently, everyone is eager to contribute their thoughts hence each individual should get a chance without another person intruding the topic by talking over them.

Plan Your Virtual Meetings Right!

It simply takes a little more effort to have a great virtual meeting with hospital employees or pharmaceutical staff. In such virtual meetings, you just need to determine meeting goals, put out a meeting agenda, and free yourself of distractions. Your virtual meetings must be fruitful and, gratifying if you tick all of the dos and don’ts stated above.


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