Almost everything has been adjusting into online operations, ever since being stuck in the confines of our homes due to the risk of COVID-19. Whether it’s online classes, work calls, webinars, emails, or family meetings, here are some ways to practice proper online etiquette.
1. Remain patient.
Shifting to online reliance is difficult, especially for those who are not so familiar with the technology. Remain patient, whether it’s an elderly professor, your grandparents, or delays in meetings or replies. It may take a while to get used to and mistakes will be made, but that’s just natural when learning something new! Imagine yourself in the shoes of an elderly person learning to video call or use an online discussion board. It definitely is not easy for first-timers. Thus, always be patient, as not everyone is tech-savvy.
2. Respect each others’ time.
Now that homes have been turned into offices, classrooms, gyms, restaurants, and many more, understand that people are busier. They have extra responsibilities other than work or school. If someone is late to your appointment, don’t be angry — ask what the matter is and accept apologies if they are reasonable enough.
3. Understand that not everyone has the fastest internet connection.
This is something that probably all of us can relate to. Your internet was working fine all day, then it suddenly stopped working during an important call or session. Keep in mind that almost everyone in the country and pretty much everyone in your home is using the internet too, so it might reach its threshold and reset itself. Most of the time, these things are out of our control. It’s best to keep in mind that it is no one’s fault.
4. Apologize for missing certain meetings.
If you missed appointments or sessions that were scheduled beforehand due to a faulty connection or an emergency, immediately contact the host of the session to apologize. Give your reason for missing the appointment. In the student context, it may be best to show proof to your professor, even if they don’t ask for it. You can show your computer disconnecting (or crashing) from Zoom with a timestamp. If the faulty connection was for maintenance scheduled by your service provider, you can send the advisory instead. It is nice to provide proof just to assure them that it was beyond your control.
5. Make sure that you’re on mute when not speaking.
This provides clearer audio for everyone else on the video call. Also, it may be best to keep your personal conversations private by muting yourself when not speaking. It also prevents distractions for the host and the attendees.
6. Avoid attending sessions on your bed.
Although it is tempting, don’t get too comfortable. Your bed is a place of rest not a place of work. Be respectful to the host (even if they don’t see you), and give your undivided attention.
These are just some ways to remain respectful and observe proper etiquette whilst online. Whether it’s for work, school, or leisure, it’s always necessary to be sensitive towards others. As online-based activities are the new normal, understand that not everyone is keen on doing so but they try anyway. Always hold professionalism and compassion on a high note.