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Mind your (Digital) Manners


LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2023

You may have read our recent guide ‘Mind Your Manners’ which dealt with all kinds of office etiquette and work behaviour. Well now, with a world of people working remotely, here are some rules on digital etiquette for you to consider:

1. Don’t dial in late

A lot of businesses are relying on video conferencing to keep employees engaged and to keep communication channels open. This is a great way to keep everyone connected, but it is important to show up and start the meeting on time, as you would if you were meeting in person. Making others wait for you, gives the impression that you think your time is more important than theirs and is poor manners. 

2. Dress appropriately

Depending on the company you work for, a lot of the time there is no need to dress up to work from home. However, there is a need to get dressed! Having video calls in your PJs is pushing casual working too far, even if you are just talking to colleagues. Talking to clients or your boss, may require you to put slightly more thought into your outfit, at least from the waist up!

3. Avoid background noise

It’s true that a lot of people are working at home in environments where they might have housemates, a partner, children or pets around and it is sometimes impossible to eliminate noise around you. However, when on video calls try to make sure you have positioned yourself somewhere as quiet as possible, as noise can be very distracting for everyone on the call and makes it hard for people to hear you or each other. The mute button is your friend here!

4. Show your face 

With most video conferencing there is the option to have your camera switched on or off. It is very tempting to switch off your camera if you don’t feel you’re looking your best, or haven’t had a hair cut since ‘before’! However, we’re all in the same boat and you mustn’t underestimate the importance of being able to actually ‘see’ the person you’re talking to (and by this I mean your whole face, not just your forehead or chin). It builds a connection with the person you’re talking to, which may be vitally important for those currently in lock-down alone. It may also make your colleague (or your boss) wonder why you never switch your camera on. Are you actually in the garden or in the bath!

5. Don’t eat and chat

Eating whilst on a video, or phone call, is distracting and also pretty rude. Never mind the munching sounds, no one really wants to watch someone else eat, or have them reply to your questions with their mouth full. If someone asks you to jump on a call whilst you are on your lunch break, either stop eating until after the call, or ask them to reschedule for when you’re finished. The exception to this rule is if you’re on a social team lunch meeting (which the Aquent team does every week)!

If you’ve found these tips helpful, then why not download our full guide on office etiquette and how to manage it, for both employers and employees. It covers all the things people do at work that they really shouldn’t. From ghosting to gossiping, and pulling a sickie to procrastinating, and is also free!