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What remote work has taught me about etiquette

Written by Elizabeth Hines Published on 

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Treat others how you would want to be treated yourself.

The world of remote working has been taking off over the last few years, and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say remote working is more popular and more essential than ever before. Having been a remote worker for the last few years, it’s safe to say I’ve seen both the good and bad side of this modern way of working.

If virtual meetings are becoming a part of your life, and you’re starting to get to grips with remote working life, then you might be able to empathise with me.

Hands Off the Keyboard

This is the problem that inspired me to write this article in the first place. Just this morning, I was in a virtual meeting with a client, and all we could hear was the keyboard clattering away as though placed right next to the microphone.

It doesn’t matter whether they were taking notes or trying to sneakily message their co-workers or partner about what was for dinner, it’s so annoying and off-putting and just annoyed everyone, on top of making it hard to concentrate. Just take notes by hand or wait till after the meeting. It’s common courtesy at this point.

Mute Your Microphone

Hand in hand with the point above, if you’re not talking, it’s best just to mute your microphone. This way, even if you do need to type or someone else is talking to you and so on (all of which can be unavoidable at times), you don’t need to interrupt everyone else.

Learn the Best Way to Communicate

Nowadays, there are endless ways to send a message, so take a moment to make sure you’re using the right one whenever you have something to say. For brevity, some of the communication methods you have access to include:

  • Email
  • A phone call
  • A messaging service like Slack or Skype
  • A video call
  • A text message
  • A social media message
  • A document comment

“Don’t write a million-word email trying to convey everything you need to say when it would be much more beneficial to have a phone call. Don’t spam the group chats when talking to one person you could simply speak to each other via text. Be smart with how you communicate,” explains Sarah Denning, a project manager at Paper Fellows and Lia Help.

Give People Your Full Attention

“There’s nothing more annoying than trying to share your point of view and having someone distracted on the other end of the line. Just the other week, I was trying to share project ideas with a client, and one of my colleagues in the call was playing with their cat,” shares Joy Bennett, a business writer at Essay Roo and State of writing.

“Nothing wrong with that, but when you have to go back and repeat your points because they weren’t listening, it doesn’t look good for you, your company, or the business in general.”

Time Zone Awareness is Key

While I have limited experience with this point myself, I know many people I work with talk and work with other people all over the world, which can be problematic when everyone is working in different time zones.

It basically means that if you’re emailing, texting, or setting meetings, you need to be aware of when is going to be a suitable time for everyone involved, not just setting times that are convenient for you. It might be fine for a little while, but soon people are going to get annoyed, tired, and unproductive as a result.

Conclusion

Despite the freedom that remote work provides, it is still important to understand that certain ways to hold ourselves still matters when it comes to work. As you can see from a lot of these points, perhaps condensed down is the point to be mindful and considerate of other people you’re working with while remote working.

Sure, you might not spend a lot of time talking to them or seeing them face to face, but they are still people and should still be respected as such. In essence, treat others how you would want to be treated yourself.


Elizabeth Hines is a digital marketer and seasoned remote worker at Academized and UK Writings. She loves helping people find their footing with remote working in new and interesting ways. She also writes for online magazines and blogs, such as Oxessays and others.

Disclaimer: This article was written by a contributor. All content is written by and reflects the personal perspective of the writer. If you’d like to contribute, you can apply here

WRITTEN BY

Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth Hines is a digital marketer and seasoned remote worker at Academized and UK Writings. She loves helping people find their footing with remote working in new and interesting ways. She also writes for online magazines and blogs, such as Oxessays and others.

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