Monday, April 21, 2014

Top Ten Rules of Etiquette for Virtual Collaboration... And One Extra for Good Measure

Just like any other social situation, there are certain "rules" of etiquette for interacting with other people in a virtual environment such as ProtoSphere. In talking to our customers, I've found that they've come up with a few of there own, and the list below is a collection of some of those best practices. Some of them are specific to ProtoSphere, but many would apply to any virtual collaboration tool.

  1. Just as you would in real life, turn your avatar toward the person who is speaking, or to whom you are speaking.

  2. Respect others’ personal space. You wouldn't walk up to your colleague in real life and stand only a fraction of an inch in front of him while talking would you? In ProtoSphere, people have a sense of personal space… respect the space of others and don't get too close or step on their toes. It helps to keep yourself in 3rd person view so you can see how close you are to others.

  3. Business appropriate language should be used in group conversations.

  4. Please refrain from spamming the group conversation window with text that isn't relevant to the conversation.

  5. Avoid using all capital letters when sending text messages back and forth - it's usually perceived as "yelling".

  6. Mute your microphone. This is a big one folks… Lync audio is very sensitive and any background noise (dogs barking at home, very loud typing) can be distracting to other participants in your events.

  7. When others teleport into your location, wait a few extra seconds before you start speaking. Their avatar will often appear in the space before they connect to the audio conference and you don't want them to catch you mid-sentence.

  8. During a presentation, only the presenters should advance the slides.

  9. While in a meeting, keep an eye on your Avatar to make sure it is not randomly standing, pointing the laser, or turned the wrong way in a chair while zoomed in on a board – (this is usually caused by an inadvertent tap on your keyboard).

  10. Instructors should use the remote control feature as often as possible, instead of facing away from the participants to look up at the screen. Seeing the instructor’s face is a better, and more realistic experience.

  11. If you have to step away for a few minutes or take another call, so the Instructors or Administrators do not call on you during a class inadvertently, move to the back of the room or other designated that has been established as an “Away” area. It is also helpful to change your Lync status to “Away”.

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