Internet Etiquette in the Workplace Every Professional Should Know

Understanding Internet etiquette, or Netiquette, can save you from many embarrassing mistakes in the workplace. Now that the average employee can spend their day immersed in emails, browsing social media, accessing their phones, and surfing the internet, it’s become necessary for companies to train their employees in the practices of good internet etiquette. Following these four rules of internet etiquette in the workplace can keep yourself secure and professional.

4 Basic Rules of Internet Etiquette

1. Email

Email Professionally. Having a corporate email means having the responsibility to reflect your company’s name and virtues with every interaction. Speak clearly and concisely. Proofread your work, format it to be brief but purposeful, and avoid using capitalized words, slang, spelling errors, or other distracting text. Consider your audience at all times.

2. Social Media

Adding employees on social media can sound like either a great idea or a risky one. With so many adults using social media sites, it can be hard to discern whether or not adding your colleague is appropriate. The best rule of thumb is to keep your work life professional, and your personal life separate. If you aren’t comfortable having your employees over for dinner, they probably shouldn’t be seeing pictures of last Saturday’s barbeque.

If you do go ahead and “friend” your employees, take responsibility and know your company’s views on this. Refrain from posting political or religious content and speak from the point of view of your company, not your personal life. Your social media use with your colleagues should look the same as your conversation with them in person, if not more cordial. After all, it will be there for the entire internet to see and track.

3. Smartphone

Limit your smartphone use during work hours. If you’re talking to an employee, in a meeting, or are tempted to answer personal messages, emails, or calls—at work is not the time. Set your phone to silent or vibrate and don’t let it interfere with creating productive work. Your Smartphone is a tool to be used during your personal breaks or at lunch, not to be displayed in front of your coworkers. If using your Smartphone is essential for communicating at work, proofread before you send your messages, and double check your grammar and spelling.

4. Internet Browsing

Internet browsing on work computers is not private. Treat all of your social media usage as if your boss were staring right over your shoulder. Understand what appropriate browsing behavior at your company is and err on the side of caution. The best internet surfing to be conducted at work, is work-related. If you have the time to browse, find ways to improve yourself as an employee.

For managers, it is important to inform employees of proper internet etiquette. Create a policy to demonstrate to your employees what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, and lead by example. Communicate clearly, without leaving room for misunderstanding. Be polite, cordial, and mind your emotions. Don’t send spam or let technology distract you from your work. And ultimately, keep your communication professional and always reflective of the company’s values and integrity.

Learn More About Professional Etiquette

KnowledgeCity is your source for online courses, offering everything from our Technology and Safety courses to our Email Essentials course. To learn more about professional etiquette in the workplace and other helpful tools, access your Free Demo today.

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