Working from home and online classes are advantages that became popular in the last decade, usually as an option. However, last year the pandemic forced the majority of the workforce population to transition from working at the office and attending lessons in the classroom to doing these from our computers at home. If you have worked this way before we were all sent home, and a large amount of your communication is done electronically, I am sure you already know the basics of online etiquette. Let’s review some of them in this blog! They will serve as a refresher, and also here are some new tips that include video calls as well!
Read before you send.
Proofreading is important not only because of grammar and spelling but also because you have to check and see how your text “sounds.” That is the tone or “the attitude your writing employs.” I use Grammarly and have found it very helpful! It has a plugin that allows me to know if I sound from formal to casual, or even friendly or rude! You can learn more about Grammarly here. Now, if you are the receiver, avoid taking words personally! Remember sometimes your coworkers are stressed or in a rush.
DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS.
How did it make you feel to read this subtitle? Writing in all caps makes your text sound like you’re angry or screaming, even when what you’re simply trying to do is emphasize a direction. Instead, you can use the bold tool or underline words you would like your reader to focus on if you are giving some instructions. All caps are fun to use in a chatbox to express joy for simple words like “YAY” or “WOOHOO!” If you accidentally wrote a whole paragraph in all caps, here is this super useful website where you can convert the whole text to lower case or even To Capitalized Text.
Mute yourself during a videoconference.
As you and other people are popping into the videoconference room, it is polite to say hi, yet make sure to mute yourself up until you get asked for something directly or if the host is asking for a collective response. Sometimes our homes can be a bit noisy or we can become eager to talk and prone to interrupt, so it is best to mute ourselves during the videocall until it is our turn to speak, as a way of being respectful. Some apps like Zoom have a chatbox where you can type in comments to the entire group, which is useful to be part of a celebration if your boss is sharing good news!
There are many opinions on this matter. A lot of people find that having a virtual background is not professional, although more workers chose to have one actually because they want to be professional: many people do not have an office space at home and are in a room that has a lot of distracting things in the wall. If this is your case, then choosing a background that is neat such as the photo of an office is a good idea. It is also okay to have a sense of humor and choose landscapes or vacation photos with no people in them. Just use your best judgment!
Dress up for your meeting!
Last but not least: put on a proper top for your video call! Remember to go by your company’s dress code. If this is a videoconference for school, just make sure to wear a top with sleeves. Also, if you are not wearing pants, avoid standing up while you have your camera on!
Be respectful and remember, even when you are far from each other, you are still interacting with other human beings.