A virtual workplace is convenient, but it can have drawbacks. Technology – and a pandemic – have brought significant reliance on chat tools, texting, email, phoning, and video conferencing to conduct business.
However, employees need to recognize management is dealing with the lack of centralization that being in a physical office offers, and companies need to make sure employees know their personal time is honored. Greater initiative and trust is required on everyone's part.
To help alleviate drawbacks, it is important to remember the most important etiquette rule for any workplace: to show respect for your co-workers, team members, and leadership.
Various communication methods make it possible to stay in touch with clients and co-workers, meet performance expectations and deadlines, and complete reporting responsibilities without having to go to an office.
However, this also means that your communication effectiveness is being put to the test. Meeting with clients and team members in person allows them to see, hear, and feel your presence. But virtual communication only allows one or two of our senses to be used. In other words, some pieces of what you are communicating may be missed or misunderstood.
To ensure that you communicate as effectively as possible:
Though the virtual workplace frees us from geography per se, employees, teams, and management operationally must meet from time to time. Collaboration in the workplace requires being seen, even in a virtual environment.
Teleconferencing provides the opportunity to unmask, show our friendly faces and express ourselves “in person.”
Consider these etiquette guidelines for teleconferencing with co-workers and management teams:
Virtual workplace guidelines vary depending on industry and local human resources policies. Additional etiquette tips to support company guidelines may include:
The popularity and economy of virtual workplaces and working remotely on multiple platforms will no doubt continue to be the way business is conducted in the future. Working virtually even helps to automatically eliminate some of the time wasters we experience working in an office environment.
As technology improves the possibility of efficiency, being etiquette-ful is a daily commitment to respecting the dignity and worth of each individual with whom we work.