In today’s business world, the number of ways one can communicate has exploded. Digital etiquette is increasingly important not only as a way to treat people with respect and courtesy online, but also to remain as professional as possible. Whether on a cell phone through emails or on social media, there are countless digital etiquette tips you can follow to act as appropriate as possible.
Perhaps the most important set of rules is with email etiquette. Office e-mail typically has a specific purpose, which makes keeping emails short and to the point important. Getting your point across will become much easier if your email is concise and easy to understand, as this allows the recipient to get to the point faster. Reply to emails in a timely manner or use an out of office response that explains that you are not available. This allows clients or co-workers to know that you’re not ignoring them; you’re simply away from your desk.
Additionally, others suggest writing what action you are requesting in the subject line. This allows the recipient to quickly know what you’re writing about and what you need. Also, respect others’ privacy; many times emails go through a network to get to who you’re sending it too and leaves copies on a server. Always use your work email for business-only correspondence.
Cell Phone Etiquette
It’s no secret most people own a cell phone. However, be mindful of your boss and co-workers when using it at work. First, always turn your ringer off and use your phone only for important calls. However if you choose not to turn your ringer off, make sure that your ringtone is something work-appropriate and not embarrassing, obnoxious or vulgar.
Also, if you are using your phone, be sure to find a private place to talk that won’t disrupt the work of others. Use a low voice to respect the work environment of your co-workers. When you can, send a text message instead of taking a call for something quick and to the point. Lastly, never bring your cell phone into a meeting. Keep your eyes on who is speaking and stay engaged in your meeting and not on what your friends are posting on Facebook.
Social Media Etiquette
When using social media networks for a professional reason, always create a business-like profile. Choose a professional screen name or username and post a head shot photo. Never post anything that you wouldn’t want clients, your boss or co-workers to see. This is especially true of Facebook photos or Twitter posts. The best idea is to use Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for business clients. Always keep your personal and professional posts separate. Beware of over sharing on your profile as some people may be offended, surprised or their overall perspective of you may change. This further extends the need for two separate profiles. Also, create lists on Facebook to filter who can see what. Never send winks, pokes or online game invitations to your business contacts; it is considered gauche.
Sharon Kornstein AICI CIP offers virtual makeovers, color & style analysis, personal shopping, etiquette training, wardrobe organizing, communication skills, and communication training services to her clients in New Jersey and New York. She specializes in social media etiquette to prepare professionals for the new age of technology.