You may not have heard the term “techtiquette” before, but you should have a pretty good idea of what it means. A mash-up of the words “technology” and “etiquette,” techtiquette basically refers to etiquette as applied to the use of technology.
If you happen to think that nothing about using tech these days could possibly be rude, then you’re probably in for a surprise. For example, using technology can be awkward in situations in which face-to-face conversation is actually more efficient and convenient. Even when the circumstances DO warrant the use of technology for communication, there are still some basic behaviors that we need to adhere to in order to show courtesy to other people – both the ones we’re talking to and the ones around us.
So what are the most important points of techtiquette we need to remember?
While on the phone
It used to be that being on the phone for work entails being on the landline desk phone assigned to you by the company. But things have changed dramatically. The existence of mobile phone technology, as well as VoIP phone service like the one offered by RingCentral, have made it possible for people to engage in business conversations anytime, anywhere. While this is most certainly convenient, it can lead to some very awkward situations when you’re multitasking or in public.
The most important rules of techtiquette in this case would be:
- Try to put off conversations about confidential information until you’re somewhere more private
- Never use the speakerphone in public especially when it causes you and the other person on the line to speak loudly
- Don’t put someone on speakerphone unless they’ve agreed to it
- When multitasking, don’t engage in other conversations or perform tasks that make loud, distracting noises; use the mute button if you can’t help it
- Most of all, pay close attention to the conversation because the people you talk to might be put off if they think you’re not listening at all
While conversing via the computer
A little over fifteen years ago, none of us would have dreamt that we would be relying on email, instant messaging, and even video chatting for work. These days, however, they’re rather commonplace. Companies like Microsoft have gone as far as bundling such services with other applications to create a complete office operations suite for discerning businesses. Much like the new phone technology, computer-based communication can be really handy. But they can also make us forget that we’re interacting with other people.
Here’s what you need to adhere to in situations like this:
- When instant messaging, make sure that the other person is open to a conversation; you also need to make sure that you indicate your own availability to chat
- Keep both your instant messages and your emails as concise as possible, only covering important points and questions
- When participating in a scheduled video conference with a client, try to dress professionally – preferably in sedate colors
- Avoid making extraneous sounds and movements that may be misconstrued as signs of distraction when video conferencing
- Try to respond to queries as soon as possible, and tell others if you need to put off replies
When you practice techtiquette, you’ll find that your business will do better and that you will be taken more seriously.
Image Credit : EtiquetteDaily