Zoom Best Practices

By March 30, 2020

Log into your UCLA Zoom account

Log into your UCLA Zoom account by going to ucla.zoom.us. For more information on Zoom, such as where to download Zoom and where to find other UCLA guides on using Zoom, see UCLA Remote Work Tools.

Using the Zoom desktop client

Log in with UCLA SSO. Once you download the Zoom client to your computer, take time to log in via SSO—UCLA’s SSO (single sign on) is your UCLAID username and password, the same credentials you use for eduroamTRSg.ucla.edu, and more. Once you log in with SSO, you may access Zoom configurations that will be saved with your account and carry over from meeting to meeting.

Plug in laptop during Zoom sessions. Zoom is an excellent video conferencing tool; however, it can be a power hog. Be sure you plug in your laptop during Zoom sessions or watch your battery percentage closely.

Zoom client configurations

Always mute microphone when joining meeting. This gives you control of when your microphone is enabled from the outset, preventing you from needing to fumble with controls when you join a meeting.

Enable HD video. For the highest quality image, ensure this option is enabled in video settings. Alternately, you may disable this option for video that takes less bandwidth.

Scheduling meetings

Click Start with/without Video to begin a meeting immediately. In the Zoom desktop client, the two orange buttons at the top start a meeting right away, no scheduling required. Use this to quickly set up ad hoc meetings. For meetings you know of in advance, use one of the blue buttons instead.

General Zoom recommendations

Do not use Zoom while driving. Zoom should only be used while you are stationary. Driving, walking, or moving via another method while distracted is dangerous and may lead you to injure yourself or others.

Use Zoom in quiet, private spaces. Participating in a conversation may annoy others around you who are not part of the Zoom session. Please respect others while using this tool.

Mute yourself when not speaking. Background noise—such as the clacking of a keyboard, the crunching of a snack, or the chatter of others in an office suite—may detract from the Zoom session’s conversation for other users. Unless you are certain you are in a quiet space, mute yourself to allow others to speak and listen.

Test your audio and video equipment before joining a Zoom session. It is impolite to join a Zoom session only to put everything on hold for a camera that doesn’t work or a microphone that produces feedback. Please test your audio and video equipment before joining a Zoom session with others—you may do this by starting your own Zoom session briefly to ensure your technology works.

Start and end scheduled meetings on time. Just because you are meeting someone remotely does not mean you should not respect their time. Respect others by joining Zoom sessions when you say you will and helping finish a meeting by the scheduled time.

Do not multitask during Zoom sessions. It may be tempting to work on other tasks when in a Zoom session, knowing that others cannot see what you do on your screen unless you share with them. This divides your attention and may distract other participants as much as if you were to work on that same task right in front of them. Be polite and productive by giving others your full, undivided attention.

Be aware that Zoom uses cellular data on mobile devices. UCLA does not require employees to install or use Zoom on personal devices. However, if you do have Zoom installed on a mobile device—such as a departmentally-provided smart phone—be aware that Zoom will work over a cellular data plan if you are not connected to wi-fi. Zoom uses a significant amount of data to transmit audio and video and may take a significant amount of your device’s current charge to operate. Be aware of these aspects of using Zoom on mobile devices.

Show your video, unless you absolutely cannot.

It’s polite! Showing your video is a clear way to indicate that you are paying attention. More importantly, showing your live video—not just a photograph of you—helps maintain your presence while you are not in the same place as others. Maintaining presence is one of the key social benefits to using Zoom to stay in contact with others while you work or attend events remotely. This is especially important while UCLA is working remotely to slow the spread of COVID-19. You may not be feeling alone, but your co-worker, colleague, friend, or family member might—and they might not admit it. Show your face to remind them that you’re out there!