Paper-based and telephone communication are no longer becoming the primary forms of communication in the modern workplace. Since the advent of internet technology, online or electronic communication is now becoming prevalent in all business organizations. Ever since internet has been used for business, it has helped increase the profit, increased the productivity of the working individuals, and made business transactions easier and a lot faster.
However, because of so much dynamism and innovativeness of the internet, people have learned to abuse the use of it. In the workplace, using the internet is ideally for business purposes or for work reasons. Communicating with coworkers and customers becomes easy with online messaging and electronic mail. But what we should know is that there are appropriate manners to be practiced when communicating online. Office employees do not just employ professionalism in actions and speech but also in through online communication.
Guidelines in Online Chatting
One of the most common forms of online communication within and among employees in the workplace is through online chatting. Companies use instant messenger tools such as Yahoo, AIM, and Windows Live Messaging for a faster interaction. Compared to casual chatting with friends and loved ones, online chat in the office requires standard behavior that is reflective of a mature working individual. Here are some instant messaging manners we need to habitually apply at work.
When initiating a chat with your colleague to ask a question or for whatever reason, always start with a greeting just as we normally do when taking phone calls. Make sure that you use online chatting solely for work purposes and not for unnecessary chitchats.
Make good use of the different status of your instant messenger. If you are busy and do not wish to be distracted a lot by popping chat windows, set the status to “Busy” or “Invisible”. In using the “Away” option, it has to be during short breaks and lunch breaks or when you will be away from the desk for a meeting. Do not take advantage of it by letting your status stay that way for hours just because you are avoiding someone. This gives other people an impression that you are not working at your desk.
Online chatting at work is intended for quick questions and follow-ups but not a substitute of email. So, if you have a lot to say to your colleague, it is better done through email. When you are signing off, let those who you are chatting with that you are going offline instead of just vanishing without notice.
Rules in Email Communication
Electronic mail is another type of online communication which is probably the widely used form of communication in the workplace today. Basically, a businesslike email correspondence is one that is professional and courteous. Email is not an outlet for feelings of anger and disappointment toward another colleague. It is not even a venue for conflict. So be careful with your choice of words in writing an email; make sure it does not offend the recipient.
Remember that email is not necessarily private so refrain from discussion confidential and non-business related matters with a colleague. When composing email, avoid the use of caps lock as it may seem like you are shouting at the reader. Always be conscious of your grammatical construction because this reflects your credibility as a working individual.
Other Online Etiquette Tips
Here are more tips on how to behave accordingly online and use the internet with professionalism.
One important function of the internet at work is for research purposes. When doing research, make sure not to commit plagiarism or copying the work of information source. When you wish to quote the details of a gathered research material online, always give credit to the source. Minimize the downloading of huge internet files to your computer as it may be a source of virus and can even slow down the internet connection in your office.
As earlier mentioned, internet use at work is mainly for work purposes. Playing online games especially during work hours is against company policy and a manifestation of laziness from work. Once you get caught, you can be sanctioned for work abandonment.
When these simple tips are observed in the workplace, online communication will become an even more beneficial and efficient way to boost work productivity and build good working relationships.