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Six tips for respectful virtual meetings

Female student wearing a mask on a laptop
Over the past year, the DePaul community has been learning and working remotely. The Office of Gender Equity created six guidelines to help ensure that everyone continues to respect the dignity of others while in virtual meetings. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)

As the university begins a new quarter, the Office of Gender Equity collaborated with other DePaul partners to create a helpful list of six tips to ensure everyone continues to respect the dignity of others while learning and working virtually.

  • Establish a culture of respect: If you are the host, use the beginning of the meeting to outline expectations and ground rules. For example, ask participants to use the raise hand or chat function to contribute. If you would prefer participants simply speak, have a plan on how to manage the conversation so everyone feels safe to participate.  
  • Be aware of screen sharing: Sharing your screen means participants can see everything visible on your screen at the time of sharing. This could include your browser's bookmarks, opened tabs and desktop images. Before sharing your screen, ask yourself, “Would this be appropriate for an educational and professional setting?" If the answer is no, consider having two screens, one devoted to DePaul and another for personal use, or simply close applications before sharing.
  • Create a professional environment: Would you wear your comfiest pajamas to class or into the office? Would you take a meeting in bed? If you wouldn't do it in-person, don't do it during a virtual meeting. While our home environments look different than our on-campus ones, it is important to create an appropriate environment during virtual meetings to ensure participants feel comfortable and respected. Student Affairs provides more resources to help manage your virtual environment.
  • Manage meeting settings: Before hosting a meeting, adjust the meeting settings so participants can​not annotate your screen or presentations without permission, or change their username.
  • Create a helpful username: Develop a username that is appropriate and helpful for a work and educational setting. For example, include your preferred first name and gender pronouns.
  • Be aware of meeting times: As a host, schedule meetings during appropriate, agreed upon times. For longer meetings, give participants a chance to take a quick break to step away from their computer, go for a walk, address personal items or eat a meal.

As we continue to learn and work in this virtual environment, it is important to continue to live by DePaul's Vincentian mission and respect the dignity of all. To learn more about how to improve your virtual meeting experience, visit In​​​​formation Services' Knowledge Base.