Zoom Tips for Work Meetings: Improve Productivity and Efficiency

By Matt RedererUpdated on August 28, 2020

Zoom is a high-quality audio and video-conferencing application offering numerous features that are designed for work meetings and applications. Screen-sharing, whiteboards, and breakout rooms are great collaborative features to help your teams work together more effectively and improve productivity.

You can also integrate Zoom with other applications that you use for your work, helping your team use various tools without having to open different services. This article will give you tips to help you get the most out of Zoom for your wok meetings.

What is covered in this article

By the end, you’ll have a toolkit of strategies to use Zoom better for your work meetings.

How to start a work meeting on Zoom

Let’s get started by learning how to sign up for Zoom, download the desktop client, and schedule your first meeting.

Sign up for Zoom

1. Go to Zoom.us and click Sign Up, It’s Free in the top right corner.

2. Use the drop-down menus to enter your date of birth by month, day, and year. When done, click Continue.

Date of birth confirmation

3. Enter your work email address, and click Sign Up.

Email registration

4. Check your email inbox for an email from Zoom (no-reply@zoom.us). Open the email and click Activate Account.

5. Next, you’ll be asked if you are signing up on behalf of an organization. Click to select the No or Yes radio buttons accordingly, and then click Continue.

Organization sign up

6. Next, you’ll be asked to set up your account. Enter your first name, last name, a password, and a copy of the password.

Input account information

7. You will be given the option to invite friends to create their own Zoom accounts. To do this, enter their email address. Click Add Another Email to invite more people.

Download the Zoom client

1. Go to the Zoom Download Center on the Zoom.us website.

2. Find “Zoom Client for Meetings” and click Download.

Zoom Download Center

3. The file will download to your file explorer. Save the file in the folder you want.

4. Open the Zoom installation file to initiate the install.

5. Follow the instructions to install Zoom.

You’re almost there! The Zoom client has been downloaded and installed on your computer or mobile device. You can now open and run the app, which will let you schedule and start meetings.

Schedule a Zoom meeting

1. Open the Zoom client for your device.

2. Click Schedule.

Schedule meeting button

3. Give the meeting a topic, set the start time and duration for the meeting, and make your other meeting selections to set up the meeting.

Schedule meeting set up

4. Once you’ve made your selections, click Schedule.

5. If you’ve chosen to schedule the meeting via a calendar app, you will be brought to that calendar program through your browser. Log in (if you haven’t already) and fill in the rest of the details to schedule the event in your third-party calendar service.

You’re all done. Your meeting is scheduled and the calendar event is set up. To invite more attendees, access your Meetings menu via the Zoom app and send out invitations.

17 tips for using Zoom for work

Getting the most out of Zoom meetings doesn’t just mean understanding the features, but knowing how to make the most out of them. Rather than focusing exclusively on features that are great for work meetings, we’ll discuss tips for using Zoom to make your work meetings go more smoothly and efficiently.

1. Always mute your microphone before joining a meeting

Audio settings with mute microphone when joining a meeting

When you join as a participant with your microphone on, background sound your mic picks up can interrupt the meeting. You should enable the setting to ensure that your microphone is muted when you join a meeting. This way, you can always join a meeting without fear of disrupting it with unexpected noise. You can unmute and join in later if you want to.

Navigate to your audio settings (Settings > Audio), and click the checkbox next to “Mute My Microphone when Joining a Meeting” to mark it (if it isn’t already marked).

2. Always start call with your video turned off

Video settings with turn off video when joining meeting button

We suggest that you set up your surrounding area to look clean and professional for meetings where you’re going to be using a video feed. However, we also recommend always joining meetings with your video turned off. This helps limit distractions when you join, and will make sure you don’t cause added strain on the network. You can then turn on your video once you’ve joined.

Navigate to your video settings (Settings > Video), and click the checkbox next to “Turn Off My Video when Joining Meeting” to mark it (if it isn’t already marked).

3. Always display participant names

Participant names can be displayed on their video feeds, even if their video isn’t active. We recommend always displaying participant names in a meeting, just to make it easy to communicate among participants.

This is especially true when you are on meetings with clients, customers, or stakeholders outside of your organization — or even members of your organizations who are on different teams! It will make it easy for participants who don’t regularly communicate – or have never met – to remember each others’ name and will help the meeting run more smoothly.

4. Eliminate distractions

Be conscious of where you are physically conducting your meetings from. In an office or from your home, find a quiet, isolated place where you can limit background noise and interruptions (even though you can mute yourself as a precaution). Also, when you set up your workstation, clean up your background and surrounding space so you aren’t tempted to focus on something other than the meeting.

Don’t forget to grab a drink and a snack before you join the call, too!

5. Have a professional background

Virtual background feature

Whether you’re using Zoom to work from the office or your home, you need to set up a professional background if you’re going to be using your video feed. It sets the tone for the meeting and impacts how others on the call perceive you.

You can also use the Virtual Background feature to create a professional background when you can’t do it in the space you have. For example, you can try to hide clutter, or display something creative and make a talking point out of it.

6. Test audio and video before joining the call

Test speaker and microphone prior to a meeting

Whether you’re on your first call or your hundredth call, you should always test your audio and video before you join. This saves you the hassle of troubleshooting during the call, which can disrupt the meeting for others.

When joining, you will get a prompt; click Test Speaker and Microphone. Wait to hear audio in your speaker, and then click Yes. Next, speak into your microphone, and listen to hear for the audio to play back, and click Yes if you hear it clearly. If all testing goes well, click Join with Computer Audio.

7. Auto-copy Invite URL when starting a meeting

General settings automatically copy invite link when meeting starts button

In the General settings, you can enable the “Copy Invitation URL to Clipboard Once the Meeting Starts” setting by clicking its checkbox to mark it (if not already marked). This will automatically copy the meeting invitation link to your clipboard when you start a meeting. You can then easily send this to additional invitees via a third-party app, direct messaging system, or virtually any other method.

This feature saves you from having to find and copy the invitation link, or send out extra invitations to your contacts. It also gets you in the habit of starting the meeting and then sending out the invitations, so your meeting is ready when people get the link.

8. Enable shortcuts outside of Zoom

As a popular video-conferencing application, Zoom integrates with a wide range of other software services. You can improve your work efficiency by using Zoom shortcuts within these other apps, typically through integrated buttons or commands. For example, you can join Zoom meetings directly through a third-party app like Slack using an integrated button, or by typing “/zoom join” in a Slack channel.

These save your team time and improve their productivity by making it easy to access, organize, and start meetings through applications your organization is already using.

9. Enable mobile meeting reminders

Enable meeting reminders on your mobile device to make sure you get an alert prior to when the meeting starts. This way, you can remember when the meeting is and prepare for it, even on the go. You can get set up and test your audio and video before the meeting starts so that you won’t have problems when you join.

If you already have mobile notifications set up on a third-party calendar app and your meetings are scheduled through it, you may want to turn Zoom mobile reminders off so you don’t get two notifications for the same meeting.

10. Disable the Waiting Room for regular team meetings

[file: “waiting-room” alt= “Meeting waiting room screen”]

Disable the Waiting Room feature for team meetings to save participants time when joining (and time for yourself as a host admitting participants). You can also configure its settings to enable or disable the Waiting Room for attendees based on their email domain. This allows your team members to join automatically while you’re still able to screen clients, customers, and others wanting to join.

Be cautious about disabling the Waiting Room for all meetings, though, as it can let invitees join without being screened. For meetings external to your work team, you may want to enable the Waiting Room feature to better control admission.

11. Create recurring meetings

Schedule meeting recurring meeting button

If you have regular meetings at the same time with the same team members, you can schedule the meetings to be recurring meetings. This way, the meeting will repeat at the same time, will automatically invite the same meeting participants, and will use the same meeting ID.

This saves you a lot of time scheduling the same meeting for each week or month. This is ideal for town halls, weekly meetings, and more, helping your business save time and improve efficiency.

12. Collect information on attendees

If you have regular meetings and webinars with clients and potential customers, you can collect information on these meeting participants. As a business, this is a great way to collect information on potential customers and webinar registrants, allowing you to connect and follow up with them later. Have participants register for meetings, giving you information on their name, email, and more.

You can then use this information to advertise more effectively in the future, or better fill client and stakeholder needs.

13. Use screen-sharing

Screen sharing selection window

The screen-sharing feature lets you share the video feed for your device’s entire screen, a portion of your screen, or a specific application. This makes it extremely easy to collaborate as a team, as all participants on the call can visually see and reference the same content in real-time.

This is an ideal collaboration tool that can be leveraged by your entire organization or individual teams. Work together virtually on the same content, present material to your teams with visual support, and much more.

14. Record videos for future viewing

Zoom meetings and webinars can be recorded for future viewing. Recordings are stored to your local device unless you have a paid Zoom plan, in which case your meeting and transcript recordings will be stored online via the Zoom data cloud. This saves you storage space and provides centralized access to your records.

Meeting recordings are great for work, as you can record meetings for participants that are unable to attend. They can then watch the meeting later and stay up to date on your processes and work. It is also a great tool for creating training videos and other content that may need to be referenced again in the future.

15. Use unique Meeting IDs

Example of meeting ID and password on desktop, mobile, and browser versions

Each Zoom meeting has a unique Meeting ID. This represents the virtual location of the meeting room, and can be thought of in the same way as an address for a physical meeting location. To access the meeting, you’ll need the password from the host. Anyone with the Meeting ID and password can find and join your meeting, so all you need to do to invite participants is send them the meeting ID and password.

With even just a Basic Zoom account, you get access to a personal meeting ID, which is a virtual meeting room permanently reserved for your use. You can give trusted users your Personal Meeting ID and password to make it easy and quick to hop on calls with them.

16. Use Gallery View to see all participants

Gallery View during a meeting

(Image credit: Zoom Support)

By default, Zoom displays video of the meeting participant who is actively talking (Active Speaker View). While this is great for following the speaker, you can’t see the other meeting participants. For larger work meetings, it’s a good idea to switch to the Gallery View, which will display all meeting participant cameras in a grid view.

This way, you can not only follow who is speaking, but also see the other participants. This makes the meeting feel more like you are all physically present (even though you may not be).

17. Enhance performance with integrations

Zoom’s video-conferencing service integrates with a plethora of other software solutions, allowing you to improve your organization’s efficiency and productivity. Check out the Zoom App Marketplace for available integrations. You can search for them by name, or filter them based on their general function or which Zoom product(s) they are compatible with. Most of these integrations allow you to perform extra actions in Zoom or the paired app, saving you from switching between apps and letting you manage work from a single place.

Zoom keyboard shortcuts for work meetings

If you use Zoom regularly for video-conferencing meetings and webinars, you can save yourself a lot of time by using in-meeting shortcuts. We’ve included instructions for both PC and Mac default shortcuts, so your team can save time using Zoom no matter what operating system everyone is using.

Keyboard Shortcut options

Zoom meeting keyboard shortcuts can be individually customized, enabled, or disabled in your settings. If you find that you are accidentally triggering them and they’re just getting in your way, you can change them or turn them off. Access them in the Keyboard Shortcuts settings; click Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Below are some of the most useful shortcuts for work meetings:


Windows command

MacOS command

Mute or unmute your own meeting audio.



Enable or disable your own meeting video.



(Host only) -- Mute or unmute audio for all meeting participants; useful for limiting background noise.



Opens the "Invite Participants" window so you can invite more people to the meeting via your saved contacts, an email, or a direct meeting link.



Start recording a meeting.



Pause or resume recording of a meeting.



Bring up the "Share Screen" menu, letting you quickly choose an element of your device's screen to broadcast to other participants.



Pause or resume a screen share in progress.



Now you can get out and start using Zoom better as an employer and employee, leveraging the tool to get more for your business. We can teach you how to use Zoom’s interface and how to set up a meeting, as well.