Coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines may be lifting in some states, but many of us are using video chat as the main way to keep in touch with coworkers, family and friends. Whether you’re using Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet or Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger Rooms or one of the other video chat services available, you’ve probably encountered some distracting video chat behaviors from colleagues and friends, taking your calls off the rails.
In my experience, this is the issue that comes up the most — especially on large group calls.
There is always someone who forgets to mute, and suddenly the whole group is bombarded by sounds of loud typing, a microwave running, a dog barking or a child shouting. Of course, these all come with the territory of working from home. But it’s all the more reason to keep yourself on mute unless you need to talk.
Not muting is not only distracting in general, it also is disrespectful to the person who is trying to get a point across. Luckily, Zoom has a handy trick to help you avoid being That Person: Keep your audio muted automatically by going to Settings > Audio > Mute microphone. To quickly unmute when needed, just press and hold the space bar down.