As we shift into summer 2020, the coronavirus lockdown still has more people working from home than ever before. As we learn to navigate technology together, we’ve experienced some epic zoom fails and seen things we can never un-see. 

Over the past few months, we’ve heard of some embarrassing and funny zoom-fails, like the reporter who accidentally broadcast her husband showering and the employee who absentmindedly showed his boxers. 

We laughed together at the toddler who really wanted to participate in dad’s meeting and the very angry cat who preferred not to participate.

Those mishaps kept us laughing through the stress of lockdown and quarantine, but some other situations were more serious, shocking, and sometimes terrifying.

We’ve read about the high school teacher that accidentally showed his computer screen with porn bookmarks, witnessed a community leader mistreat a pet, and heard about a frightening domestic violence incident during a staff meeting while an employee thought their microphone was muted.

The “new normal” of remote working has human resource departments stunned and scrambling while attempting to create and enforce policies that deal with circumstances they never imagined.

To help human resource professionals, managers, and co-workers around the globe, I offer this protocol checklist. I hope this spares you some awkward conversations, embarrassing moments, regrettable decisions, or unfortunate terminations.

You have my permission to share this graphic in your own publication, or with anyone who needs it:

Here’s to more successful and productive virtual meetings everywhere.