This is a transcript of the online Roundtable held on Thursday 8th October 2020 by our mentor Althea McCourt on Online Etiquette.
Online etiquette is the customary code of behavior applied to virtual interactions. It is an important interpersonal skill to adopt and apply in our professional lives.
It can be covered in two aspects; Audio-Visual and Written.
AUDIO VISUAL ETIQUETTE
This entails virtual interactions where participants can see and talk to each other. A typical example are platforms such as Zoom and Google meet.
KEY POINTERS TO CONSIDER
SWITCH ON YOUR CAMERA
Firstly, if you can, always make sure you have switched on your camera. It is etiquette and polite.
Virtual communications ought to capture the visual feel and experience typical for physical meetings.
Secondly, set the trend by being the first one to switch on your camera. Most likely, other participant will mimic and follow suit.
I mean who doesn’t want qualitative communication?
If you can’t switch on your camera, let the other participants know.
Lastly, practice it to be more comfortable and confident.
Communication has various facets.
Body language is one critical one which should not be assumed especially for online interactions.
70 – 80% of communication is body language.
In preparation for this, be visually ready. Look presentable especially for formal meetings.
Ideally, seat on a comfortable chair but don’t get too comfy.
Drinking and eating should be avoided especially in formal situations.
Be conscious of your surroundings. Ensure it looks neat and not a distraction to other participants.
Ignore the background of other participants. This is as long as it is not inhibiting your interactions. If you have to make a comment on it, be sure to make it positive.
Firstly, ensure you log in early enough. If the platform being used is new to you, ensure you familiarize yourself accordingly.
Always remain on mute unless you have something to say.
Pay attention and avoid distractions such as going over your phone.
Practice effective turn taking by not going over other people talking.
If you are recording the meeting, always inform and request for permission from all participants.
70 to 80 percent of communication is non-verbalONLINE ETIQUETTE
WRITTEN ONLINE ETIQUETTE
When making job applications, most applicants just attach the documents and send. Always include a body to the email.
Your salutations should be polite and respectful
Timely reply to emails increases efficiency. Apologize for delays in replying.
Spell check your writing to make sure it is accurate. There are online tools such as Grammarly which are useful in this.
Proofread what you have written. Reading out loud is also helpful especially in putting punctuation.
Make sure what you have written is accurate and factual.
With the new normal, is imperative to be conscious and maintain online etiquette. It is nice to talk to people and see their expressions albeit over a screen.
Remember human are creatures of habit, so practice it and be confident.
Share you experience and tips on the comment section.