qube is a powerful tool that transforms working remotely. For best usage, we suggest the following etiquette.
One of the major advantages of a qube is that standard office paradigms can be translated the into a virtual environment. If you want to have a casual conversation or ask a 30 second question, pop into a co-worker’s office just as you might in the real world! If someone tries to pop in and you aren’t immediately available, circle back when you have the time.
Without qube, most of these tips won’t really help. Even if you aren’t planning to interact with anyone, it helps to know that your co-workers are also engaged (and your co-workers appreciate the context). If you are working but don’t want to be interrupted, set your state to ‘Busy’.
When you set yourself to ‘Away’, ‘Busy’, or ‘BRB’, let people know what’s happening and when you might be back. It’s like leaving a note on the whiteboard on your door in a physical office - sometimes it’s informative, and sometimes it’s just fun.
A few interesting statuses we’ve seen recently:
Going to visit the government on their turn
My crazy life
getting a sticker
(The last one was a witty DMV reference, in case you’re curious).
We recommend using every opportunity available to connect and communicate with each other. Since much of communication is non-verbal, having video on can dramatically improve the quality of virtual conversations and meetings.
The exception to this is large company meetings. In virtual companies, meetings with more than 35 people are often presentations, and too many faces can get a little distracting. As such, we recommend that the presenter(s) keep video on, and everyone else keep video off (unless jumping in to ask questions).
In larger meetings, keep your mic off to avoid transmitting background noises. This is especially true when using non-isolating speakers and microphones (like a built-in laptop systems) to avoid feedback from the speaker to the microphone.
If you hear feedback, check Zoom to ensure you’re not the problem (f your zoom square is highlighted when someone else is talking). If you find another culprit, let him or her know over Slack (or, if you’re the meeting host, mute him or her yourself in Zoom).
That said, we encourage you to turn your mic on just to laugh or provide verbal feedback or encouragement (along the lines of Nice! I like it! Love the PowerPoint flair!). Note that there may be a small pause after you turn on audio before Zoom will register your voice.
A common mistake is to use group mentions when it’s not needed.
@here will send a notification (buzz a phone) for every person in that channel who is online.
@channel will send a notification to every person in that channel, even if they are offline. Try to avoid mentioning large groups of people unless something really needs immediate attention, and even then, prefer focused channels over (as opposed to, say #general).
Slack is not the best format for long or serious conversations. A good alternative, almost always, is to knock on someone’s door - it also gives us a chance to see one another more often!
If you are working with teammates using a different tool, like GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts, represent it on qube by congregating in the same meeting room. That way, your co-workers can see your availability at a glance.
Headsets with mics usually offer vastly superior voice quality over built-in laptop microphones and help reduce feedback, echoes, and typing or clicking sounds. Plus they’re awesome - you can walk around while talking, and they make you look very professional ;)
If you are going to be gone for a little while or are done for the day, exit qube. You don’t want people to think you sleep in your office!