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Virtual Etiquettes during Work from Home

Working from home is the new trend these days. And looks like it is going to stay for a pretty long time now. Although the initial days were fun the whole country is back to the regular routine from a totally different geographic conditions. While some men are conducting virtual meetings in pajamas and helping around the household, women are managing the kid’s school work and their work while also managing the kitchen like an actual superwoman. But in all this new found happiness of managing it all from home, many executives do not understand that a home is a private space for every employee and there should be some etiquettes that needs to be followed. No school, or management college taught this earlier but it still needs to be adapted as per the new age culture of WFH.

To begin with,

– Do not call your colleagues at extreme odd hours. If it’s urgent, just leave a message and ask them to call back.

– Do not video call your peers or colleagues before intimating them about the same. You never know you might see a head with dye on or kids with tantrum in the background running around making faces while you want to discuss something serious.

– When you call someone, wait for them to pick up in the first three to five rings. if no one picks up in the first 3-5 rings- Hang up and don’t call back for the next few minutes. Respect their privacy and don’t keep on calling them.

– Make sure you write and re-write your emails and let it sit overnight in your drafts before you re-check and send it the next day. Sometimes words have various meanings and undertones that can create a tiff between colleagues and give rise to misunderstandings.

– Hold fun meetings where you have virtual potluck and meet online to play some fun games to ease out the WFH pressure. Promising 100% salary or appraisals is not possible but promising a fun evening once a while is always possible. Take turns to lead these fun sessions.

– Look for opportunities where you can ask fellow colleagues about their health and well-being. It’s not easy to convert your home into office and back to home in the same stretch of hours.

– Patience is the key here. Your colleagues- senior or junior is not on the same desk from 9 to 5 at a stretch. Don’t expect the WFH colleagues to immediately reply to your emails or messages. At an actual workplace, the work is always a priority but at home, there are 10 other things that are just as important.

– If your colleagues’ family has a Covid-19 patient or elders who are sick; ease them in work and voluntarily do their part of job. Don’t wait for them to seek help because many won’t ask for it. Although private and professional lives are supposed to be kept different but the conditions are different now- take the initiative to be a family for them. They may reciprocate the same someday.

These are many more can help you smoothen the WFH stress-lines

Author:
Kunj Ganatra, Faculty, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.