Let’s face it, we all have an online footprint and presence in the workplace. Even though we aren’t surfing online and posting in the same ways, we still leave a trail behind us that’s arguably even more monitored than on our private home networks. The rules of business have changed due to online interaction at work. Here are some useful tips for online etiquette during work hours.
Email and Chat Platforms
Email and Chat Platforms like Teams from Office 365 are extremely helpful communication tools used frequently in the workplace. Although you may be tempted to send your friend a quick message about something that happened to you that day, we are here to tell you to STOP!
Your work email address was provided to you by your company and is connected to their server. Therefore, you shouldn’t be doing any personal business through it. You can utilize chat platforms for general questions and communications.
Having a corporate email means that you are an extension of your company online. Even if something is deleted your company has all rights over your account and can access it whenever they want. When it comes to the content in your emails and chat platforms, it’s important to keep things respectful and clean. Don’t use foul or antagonistic language and make sure to use formal greetings and sign offs.
The internet is a library of endless information. No wonder it’s so tempting to browse for whatever you want while you’re at work. Such as, perusing the menu of where you are going to dinner that evening. In those 30-60 seconds did one of your co-workers or your manager see that you were more focused on what you are eating than your impending deadline?
Along with that, don’t browse illegal sites or search for other jobs at work. That goes for printing too. At the end of the day, you aren’t paying for the resources you use at work, your employer is and they can take those rights or your job away at any time.
Social Media – There’s Always Someone Watching
Social Media has many layers which can lead to complications when it comes to mixing your work life and personal life on social media. This can be anything from friending your co-workers or an executive board member to tagging your company in your career section, sharing posts and commenting on your company’s page. Once you cross that bridge there are many things you need to be aware of and many practices you should pick up.
Make sure you are aware of your privacy settings and you know who can and cannot see your profile and content. Be aware of the pictures that you post and that live on your social media accounts. You may not have seen your pictures from 6 years ago in 6 years, but other people may have.
Be on Time
Just because a meeting is happening in the virtual world doesn’t mean you should be late. There are a number of steps to consider when attending a virtual conference. First, you have to turn your computer on and make sure its functioning properly. Second, you need to ensure that the camera and audio are working as well, so everyone else can see and hear you.
Then you must make sure that you have internet access and you are signed in for the meeting. If one of these steps fails, you could be late for a meeting that you didn’t even need to leave your house to attend. You should give yourself at least fifteen minutes of prep time on meeting days just to make sure you’re early.
Choose Your Medium Wisely
There are many ways to communicate with your colleagues and superiors at work these days and many of them are online. There’s email, video, voice conferencing calling, and chat platforms.
Each one serves a different purpose and should be used appropriately. If you have to deliver some challenging news it may be better to set up a face-to-face conference call rather than sending a long drawn out email. Sometimes, eye contact goes a long way. Although it’s still hard to read body language a face-to-face call adds a nice personal touch.
There are also certain topics that are more jovial in nature and can be shared via a chat platform like Teams.
This is where email etiquette comes into play as well. It’s important to have an awareness of when you need to be more formal. Pay attention to what kind of professional setting you’re in. You would never want to make people uncomfortable because of the way you emailed them.
Looking to learn more about cyber etiquette and how you can educate your team? Contact The TNS Group today for more information.