“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” -Emily Post
We begin to learn every day etiquette really quickly as young children. Don’t pick your nose, use your fork and knife, say please and thank you, and my own quickly learned grade school life lesson, don’t call the big kid in your class stupid, unless you want a black eye.
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We all know good remote worker etiquette deep down, but we become lazy in practicing it because when we are working remotely because we are out of sight and in our own personal space.
When working remotely it is very easy to slip to far into our comfort zone. We forget that perception is everything, and it is a delicate balance. We may be out of sight, but we are still being judged by our actions, especially by our remote worker etiquette, which can make or break a good perception quicker than you can say please or thank you.
Stop looking dumb looking dumb when working remotely and follow these remote worker etiquette tips today. These rules apply when you are working remotely and communicating with someone.
1. Be present when your are communicating.
If you are putting dishes in the dishwasher, folding clothes, cooking lunch, paying bills, running for the mail, chasing your children, taking your dog for a walk, or any other activity while you are supposed to be listening to someone, it is going to be very obvious.
I have worked with people all over the world remotely and you can tell very quickly when someone isn’t present. When the person on the other end of the phone is distracted, they are wasting your time. Remember that the next time you are that person.
2. Remove audible distractions or remove yourself to quiet and distraction free place.
Whether it is a barking dog, crying child, or frying bacon, if someone can hear it over the phone or computer, its annoying them. Same with background music or television, your co-worker may not be another huge hip hop fan. As a bonus it makes you look unprofessional.
3. Do not attempt to communicate personal and work messages at the same time.
This is a HUGE recipe for disaster. That was a really hot text you just wrote, to bad you sent it to your boss instead of your wife, ooops.
If you must use instant messenger, email, texting, or social media while working remotely, at least use a different device for your personal communications.
4. Be on time.
Seriously, if you have the freedom and flexibility to work remotely, you have no excuse to be late to meetings. The expectation for your timeliness is actually greater when you work remotely.
5. Be available.
Communicate your work hours to your stakeholders. Make sure you are available during core hours, and always make yourself available for meetings. Being remote doesn’t mean working in the middle of the night Friday to Monday (unless your stakeholders are ok with that).
6. Buy reliable, high speed, quality equipment and internet access.
When I am on a conference call with someone remote and there is all kinds of static and echos, the first thing I think is that the other person is cheap, the second thing I think is that they are unprofessional.
Spend the money necessary to have reliable high quality communication. When you are remote, communication quality becomes more critical.
To sum it all up, whenever you are communicating on a professional basis, be a class act.
So many people forget these simple remote worker etiquette rules that simply following them.