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15 Essential Rules of Remote Work Etiquette You Should Practice

Working from home is the new normal, and with it comes several remote work etiquette everyone should practice.

Whether you’re managing a team or just starting out as a remote worker, good etiquette is essential for success.

You need to communicate effectively so that you don’t leave anything ambiguous or misunderstood, especially if there are time zone and language barriers.

So, let’s get into it!

remote work etiquette = be on time

Remote Work Etiquette: Why is it Important

In order to maintain a positive and effective remote work environment, remote and hybrid workers must adhere to a set of standards, rules, and expectations.

A positive, goal-oriented, and polite remote work culture is encouraged by adhering to excellent work-from-home etiquette, which benefits all parties involved and raises team morale.

Also, it yields high-caliber results.

Here are 15 remote work etiquettes to help make your work life a little more effortless and efficient.

15 Essential Remote Work Etiquette

#1 Be on Time

Being on time is an important remote work etiquette.

Without a doubt, working from home can feel more relaxed than working in an office.

You may be wearing your pajamas after all, and nobody would know.

Yet, don’t let your sense of comfort in your own house cause you to be lax on some of the fundamental standards of the working world, such as being punctual.

If your meeting starts at 10 am, you should be connected to it by 10 am, if not earlier.

On top of that, working from home should actually enable you to be even more punctual than you were at the office, as you won’t have to worry about unforeseen circumstances like traffic affecting your ability to get to work on time.

#2 Practice Good Communication & Set Expectations

Proper communication is a must if you want your remote team to work together productively.

Setting expectations can make sure everyone has the same understanding of deadlines, goals, and tasks.

Here are some easy steps that you can follow to ensure good communication:

● Establish Open-Lines of Communication

Make sure that all communication lines are open to everyone, and keep these lines active at all times.

This allows questions or discussions to be opened up quickly when needed.

● Set Ground Rules

Create a clear set of expectations regarding communication protocols and other aspects of the remote working environment, such as when to check in.

This will help teams better plan their day-to-day operations and also foster better understanding amongst team members.

● Stay Organized

Organizing tasks into easily digestible blocks should be done whenever possible.

Break down larger projects into smaller tasks for easier delegation, tracking progress, and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

#3 Respect for Cultural and Geographical Differences

In today’s globalized world, remote work often brings together team members from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Respecting these differences is an important remote work etiquette and is essential for fostering a harmonious and productive work environment.

It’s crucial to be mindful of time zones and plan meetings or deadlines with consideration for everyone’s availability, ensuring that no one is unfairly burdened.

Moreover, being sensitive to cultural nuances, such as communication styles and work-life balance expectations, can help avoid misunderstandings and promote open dialogue.

So when you actively demonstrate respect for cultural and geographical differences, your remote teams can create a sense of unity and build strong bonds, ultimately contributing to their overall success.

#4 Ask and Answer Questions Proactively

You need to have great communication to maintain productivity and collaboration within your teams.

So asking and answering questions proactively becomes crucial in this setting, as it helps you bridge the gap created by the lack of physical presence.

By actively seeking feedback or clarification, team members can ensure they are on the same page and avoid misunderstandings that might hinder progress.

Additionally, responding to inquiries in a timely manner demonstrates commitment and fosters a positive work environment.

This proactive approach to questions and answers not only keeps your projects on track but also strengthens your team relationships and promotes a culture of mutual support in the remote workplace.

So don’t be afraid to ask!

communicate with workmates - remote work etiquette

#5 Connect With Co-Workers Regularly

Regular email and message response is essential for distant workers.

It’s reasonable that you could occasionally feel overburdened by your responsibilities, though.

The key is to let your coworkers know that you are overwhelmed. Don’t neglect them or leave them in the dark.

Instead, spend a few seconds replying and informing them that you won’t be able to meet their request right away.

Understand that communication is essential when working remotely.

You can establish trust with your coworkers and prevent misunderstandings by being open and honest about your workload and availability.

So take a moment to reply to messages, and be clear about when you can meet their needs.

This straightforward action can go a long way toward preserving good working relationships and guaranteeing your success as a remote employee.

#6 Keep Regular Working Hours

When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to stay up late and sleep in late — after all, no one is watching.

However, while remote work gives us more freedom and flexibility in our schedules, it’s important to set regular working hours that align with the rest of the team.

Start off by deciding on a working schedule for yourself that accommodates meetings and deadlines.

Choose a time frame that works best for you and stick to it as much as possible.

This will help keep your focus during the day and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or burned out.

Also, make sure to communicate your schedules within the team so everyone knows when you’ll be available.

If something unexpected comes up, make sure to inform everyone beforehand so appropriate arrangements can be made if necessary.

Doing this can go a long way in fostering teamwork, even when you’re apart.

#7 Utilize Video Calls for Important Conversations

Making the most of video chats is essential when it comes to remote work etiquette.

Video chats are the most effective way to communicate and give your team a chance to connect on a personal level.

● Be Professional

It’s important to treat video chat conversations the same way you would treat in-person conversations.

That means dressing professionally, speaking clearly, and avoiding distractions like pets or children running around in the background.

It’s also important to be mindful of things like body language and facial expressions that can easily be misinterpreted via video chat.

● Pay Attention

When you’re on a video chat, it’s important to show your colleagues that you value their time by not multitasking or going off on unrelated topics during the conversation.

Paying attention will help you stay focused on the agenda, ask appropriate questions, and provide helpful insights during brainstorming sessions.

#8 Set a Time Limit on Email Responses

writing email - remote work etiquette

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working remotely, especially with all the incoming emails that need to be replied to.

But one etiquette that all remote workers should follow is to set a time limit on email responses.

This means setting an expectation as to when you will read and reply to emails throughout the day.

For instance, you could set a goal of responding within 24 hours of receiving them.

That way, your colleagues will know when they can expect a response and won’t have to wait too long for an answer.

#9 Show Appreciation and Recognition

No matter where you work, it’s important to show appreciation and recognition for a job well done.

When working remotely, it can be difficult to do when you don’t have the physical space available to show your appreciation.

So, when attending virtual meetings, be sure to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to make the meeting successful or productive.

Take some time to recognize good work in team channels and acknowledge how people have gone out of their way to help or contribute towards the success of a project or task.

#10 Avoid Multitasking

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working remotely, so it’s important to avoid multitasking.

When you multitask, you’re more likely to produce lower-quality work and cut corners, so make sure that you take your time with each task individually.

Give yourself the space and time that’s needed to complete each task as best you can.

It might feel like it’s taking longer than usual, but the finished product will be much better quality in the end.

#11 Practice Active Listening

Active listening is an important skill for anyone to have, but especially for those who are remote workers.

It helps create meaningful relationships with your work colleagues, improves communication, and also helps you stay on the same page as others in your organization.

Here’s how you can practice active listening:

  • Make eye contact
  • Ask clarifying questions
  • Repeat back what you heard
  • Avoid distractions
  • Show empathy
  • Take notes

#12 Document Processes for Future Reference

documenting processes - remote work etiquette

If you’re working remotely, it’s essential that you document processes and procedures for future reference.

Develop a protocol that ensures all work-related information is properly documented and updated.

This helps remote workers stay on top of their tasks while giving colleagues an easy way to stay informed.

Plus, you’ll always have something to refer back to if things become confusing or chaotic!

#13 Have a Designated Workspace

Remote working can be a liberating experience. After all, you can work from any place in the world you want.

But to make sure you keep organized and focused, it’s best to create a dedicated workspace for yourself.

It also allows you to create an environment that works for you — perhaps it’s a little quiet and cozy, or maybe even with some motivating colors to inspire you.

Another advantage of having a dedicated workspace is that it can help cut out distractions.

Moreover, family members or roommates will also respect your workspace boundaries.

This will minimize any unnecessary disruptions during your workday.

#14 Establish clear Boundaries

You’ve probably heard it before — setting boundaries is essential for keeping yourself and your colleagues safe, happy, and healthy, even when you’re working remotely.

It’s important to communicate your expectations with co-workers and ensure that everyone understands the need to respect each other’s workspace.

Here are a few tips on how to establish healthy boundaries while working remotely:

● Define expectations clearly

Having clear expectations for each task will help ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Establish how often your team communicates, how you will report progress, and what level of response time is acceptable.

● Respect each other’s privacy

Being aware of others’ privacy is key when collaborating remotely.

Make sure not to look into someone’s personal space or ask intrusive questions that are not work-related.

#15 Stay Professional at All Times

Collaborating with your remote team calls for the same professionalism as if you were in the same office.

That means using respectful language and keeping a positive attitude.

Here are some tips to make sure you maintain a professional demeanor:

● Watch Your Tone

Make sure you respect their preferences and use language that is appropriate for any situation, whether it’s asking questions or giving feedback.

● Listen Before You Speak

When conversing with remote team members, it’s important to listen closely before adding your own opinion.

This also allows everyone involved to be heard and promotes understanding among all participants.

● Stick To The Agenda

When dealing with remote teams, staying on topic is especially important during collaborative sessions.

remote work etiquette

Remote Work Etiquette: Final Thoughts

For many people, working remotely has become more than just a necessity — it’s become a way of life.

But with that comes new challenges, such as staying productive and efficient, as well as keeping up with their manners and etiquette.

From organizing meetings to getting dressed for the day, the best way to make the most out of remote work is by following the 15 etiquettes presented in this article.

These rules for remote work etiquette might not be the same as those in a traditional office setting, but if you follow them, you’ll be one step closer to your remote work success.