We all should be pretty well-versed when it comes to remote etiquette by now, but we still see some people struggle to keep their routines and get comfortable with the idea of working from home. If you’re in a role where your work and meetings mostly take place in a digital space, you almost don’t need to remember how important it is to have a firm handshake. However, your appearance and attention span should stay on point.
While many have become more relaxed with seeing a coworker’s puppy pop up during a meeting, there are certain “rules” of remote work etiquette that still apply. As employees, we need to show that we’re professional and productive throughout the workday.
Remote Working Tips to Remember
Here are 10 tips to keep proper etiquette while working remotely.
1. Dress appropriately
It’s a common belief that when you dress up (or simply get out of your pajamas) and put on more professional attire, you’re more likely to perform better. Taking the time and effort to change out of your sleepwear will help switch your brain to work mode and help you stay productive during the day.
2. Stay attentive during video calls
Part of working remotely is hopping on video calls every now and then. When you are on these calls you need to be alert and attentive. This means you should avoid distractions and multi-tasking while on calls. Since the other attendees can only see your face, it’s important to show that you are a part of the meeting even when it’s through a screen.
Jumping off of the last point, it’s important to participate and take initiative to be a part of the conversation. Respond to team emails, share your thoughts and ideas, and make the effort to be a part of the team whenever possible.
4. Be mindful of your background
As you set up for your meetings, make sure that your background is clear of any clutter or distractions. You should be in a well-lit room and your family members should be informed of any meetings to minimize further distractions. Being mindful of these elements will help you stay focused and keep your meetings as focused as possible.
5. Proofread and work carefully
You might feel like much of your day is spent writing emails, reports and responding to online chats. While it’s important to take breaks during the day to refresh, make it a habit to double and triple-check your work before you send it out to your team. Email and online chats are crucial methods of communication when working remotely, so be sure that you are coming across in a professional manner. Additionally, you should always be polite in your emails and stay positive when challenges arise.
6. Keep the water-cooler conversations
Camaraderie in the workplace is good for the soul and good for keeping up with the culture of the company. Catch up with your coworkers informally during lunch hours or break times. Get to know your team and encourage team-bonding sessions to further enhance the quality of remote work life. You might feel more isolated as a remote employee but maintaining those “water cooler” interactions can keep your morale up during the work week.
7. Continue to focus on performance
No matter where you work, you must focus on your work and continue to deliver the same way as you would if you went into the office. As remote work has become more popular, some managers are still skeptical and have doubts about whether they can trust employees to be productive at home. Show them that you are a hard worker and make sure to get your work done on time.
8. Test equipment and apps
It’s a good idea to test your equipment every now and then to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Some laptops might need upgrades while other software programs may need updating. Do this ahead of time so you’re not stuck when you’re busy and in the middle of a project.
9. Communicate well and often
Part of successful remote work involves communicating often with your team and manager. Check-ins are good to help with any challenges or to keep projects running smoothly. Questions are encouraged and asking for help will be appreciated. Keeping up with communication is crucial to ensure the team is on the same page and everyone meets their deadlines.
10. Be aware of time zones
Remote work has opened up the possibility of having team members from all parts of the country (or even the world). However, this comes with the issue of time zone coordination. When working with people from different time zones, you need to be aware of the time and be respectful when you ask for assistance. Things that are not urgent should be specified and communication should be scheduled accordingly so your coworkers don’t feel pressured to be working outside of their allotted hours. It’s equally important to recognize what’s best for the team and be flexible in scheduling meetings at times that work for the majority.
It can take a while to settle into your work-from-home routine. That being said, practicing good remote work etiquette can set you up for success. Just like you would work in the office, you should practice good business habits at home. Your manager and team will notice your effort and performance even though you might not be sitting next to each other.
Are you or someone you know looking for a new opportunity? From administrative to finance and accounting, to technology and legal staffing, discover how our recruiters can help with your staffing needs.