Remote Work Etiquette: The Top Do’s and Don’ts

The word etiquette often brings to mind formal rules of behavior at social events. But it has a more general meaning – how to be courteous in your dealings with others and show respect toward them. Most people are familiar with the more common rules of office etiquette, such as being on time, keeping workspaces and other areas clean, being aware of the boundaries of others.

But now as more people work remotely, it is helpful to be aware of etiquette practices in this new work environment to maintain a cordial and productive workplace. Here are a few.

Remote Work Etiquette: The Top Do’s and Don’ts

Establish Your Presence

If your communications platform allows you to set up a profile, do put one together. Tell others on your team who you are, what your job is and when you are available. If you can, do post a photograph of yourself with your name, where you are located, and your job title.

If you are getting in touch with a coworker and have not interacted with the person before, do take the time first to introduce yourself and give the person a little background.

Contribute to group discussions that take place within the company, even with just a brief comment or emoji.

Communicating

If you are using a platform like Slack or WhatsApp, do keep the status field updated so coworkers know if you are available or where you are at.

Communicating online is obviously not the same as doing it in person or over the phone. The message may be separated not just by distance but by time as well. That is why you need to make every effort to write clearly, communicating with complete thoughts. Don’t use fragments like, “Are you there?”

Also, when sending a message, try to be as concise and direct as possible. Don’t make your reader wade through superfluous description or explanation. Also, make it easier by using headings, subheadings and bullet points.

Sharing

When you share something like a document, do be sure to check that it is accessible to everyone who needs to see it. Also, do use video when possible. It may be easier for someone on the other end to understand better by watching a video rather than reading.

Meetings

First off, think about whether you need to actually have a meeting. Can the issues be handled through email? If you decide you need to meet, do check to see that everyone is available for when the meeting is scheduled. Also, all of the information for the meeting should be included in one message, rather than sending several. Do Include a Zoom link and an agenda with other information about the meeting.

Do keep the meeting brief. Don’t wander from the agenda and prepare beforehand.

Collaboration

Use a tag to alert a coworker about something they need to be aware of. When you have finished your assigned task, inform everyone you are collaborating with that you have finished.

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