As the battle against the coronavirus pandemic rages on, offices around the globe are slowly, but surely shifting towards remote work. In fact, 16% of offices have already gone fully remote. While working from anywhere sounds great…there are certain etiquettes employees need to follow to ensure smooth operations. Virtual office etiquette is very similar to that of onsite workplaces. However, it’s still important that team members respect certain boundaries and workplace ethics to cultivate harmonious relationships. The following guideline will help you get started:
Communication is key: No matter where you work, communication tops the list for getting things done. Being able to plan and communicate effectively is all the more important while doing remote work. Since the offices are virtual, staying updated with team members will streamline the workflow as well. The easiest way to maintain efficient communications is by using Microsoft Teams, Slack, or even Workplace from Facebook.
Meeting etiquette: In virtual meetings, asking for an agenda is a good practice if you are invited without one. The next step should be to outline the action plans and be clear about communications. Remember to keep others in the loop about what you can and cannot achieve within the time frame. The last step is to take meeting minutes to keep all your goals in line for the days ahead.
Video call guidelines: Plan ahead, freshen up and dress as you would for the office. Next, make sure your video and audio equipment functions correctly and your camera is at eye level. Also, remember to remove those leftover pizzas from the background. (We don’t want to be distracting others on the call, do we?) Light is an important factor to consider as well. If you sit in the dark, or if the light source is behind your back, no one will see you, right? Finally, be sure to get a good mic.
Never be late: As a remote worker, you have no excuse (traffic won’t be able to stop you). In the event you will run late to a meeting, inform all attendees at least a few minutes before the meeting begins. This will allow them to not waste time and move ahead with other agendas.
Active hours: Inform your teammates when you will be available. It’s recommended that you start the day with a good morning text message and end it with a sign-out update. This keeps your teammates on the same page. Another good practice is to change your status while on a break. It alerts your teammates to your availability. They can thus avoid wasting time and move on to other agendas of the meeting.
Maintain a calendar: Keeping a public calendar is a must as it can make project planning and scheduling easier. It also allows you to view the workload and availability of each team member, allowing assignments to be balanced effortlessly. This makes task planning and organising meetings a breeze.
Be aware of time zones: As remote work has opened borders to global teams, some members may not be based in the same time zone. Therefore, if you decide to schedule a meeting, make sure to pick a time that is convenient for cross-border teams. You can also check their availability by giving them a heads-up or ask about an ideal time for the meeting.
Monitor engagement: Since everyone is far away, it’s hard to track workflow virtually. However, project management tools like ClickUp and Asana can assist you in getting more work out of the day. The tools will also help you set goals, fix a schedule, and achieve the planned outcome very easily. Saving time and extra work.
Avoid side activities: Working remotely can tempt some people to visit their social media accounts, play games or get distracted in general. But that can wait. You should be considerate of your colleague’s time, optimise your routine, and boost your productivity to get the best out of remote work.