Online Etiquette for Schooling and Working Remotely

It can feel like the wild west out there in our online world. The internet can be taxing for that reason or freeing, depending on how you look at it. Either way, how the internet works in a casual setting can cloud the expectations for how the online world should work in a professional setting. For those who go to school online or work remotely, the expectation for online behavior is a lot different. Let’s take a look at online etiquette in a school or work setting.

Online Etiquette

Even though your presence in the classroom or office is completely in cyberspace, it’s important to be available, protect yourself from cybercrime, respect your deadlines, utilize the tools created to make online work easier and to be respectful to those you are communicating with. Online schooling and remote work has advantages and disadvantages, but it’s also important to have good etiquette as an online student or employee.

Be Available

When you’re not available in person for your professors, fellow students, bosses, and colleagues to reach you, it’s important to be available online. This means checking emails, paying attention to chat programs, and being online and working when you should be. Communication is a key aspect in online school and remote work because so many things can get lost between screens. Schedules, deadlines, collaboration, and project understanding can be hard, so being available is important. In order to ensure your availability, check your notification settings, schedule email checks into your day, and don’t be afraid to communicate with others in chat programs in order to foster open communication online.

Take Cybersecurity Seriously

It’s always important to protect yourself and your devices from cybercrime. However, it’s a lot more important to take it seriously when your devices connect you to work and school. You may have personal or confidential information about work, school, colleagues, or professors that you don’t want compromised. Though not all industries are vulnerable to cybercrime in the same way, it’s still a growing concern for everyone as we become more reliant on technology for business. For this reason, cybersecurity should be a priority. Ensure you’re using secure networks and passwords. Be sure you’re not opening any suspicious emails.  If you take cybersecurity seriously you keep yourself, as well as those you’re connected to, safer.

Respect Your Deadlines

Online opportunities are becoming more common than ever. Even something like a social work degree can be completed online despite it being so people-centered because of all the online tools that are provided. Chat tools, online videos, and interactive meetings conducted online all foster an environment to aid in collaboration for people-centered careers or others.  However, online work isn’t always easy despite these tools. With the structure of classes or working in an office, productivity can be easier. In a remote work or schooling situation, a large portion of time management is up to you.

An online program offers a lot of flexibility, and so does remote work. However, it’s important to be sure your flexible time is still respecting your deadlines. It’s important to organize your own schedules, stay on task.  You need to perform at your best without a classroom or office to provide structure. It’s important to not procrastinate and to provide your work in a timely manner.

Utilize the Tools Available to You

Chat programs, teleconferences, video chat, online meetings, and screen shares are just a few examples of tools that can really help the process of online school or remote work. Collaboration can be difficult when you’re not physically in the same room as someone else, so these tools work to bridge the gap in collaboration. Using these tools is paramount in making an online course or remote work experience the best it can be. If you have a suggestion about a tool that would help you work better, or one you prefer, communicate that. Everyone works a little differently, but it’s important to use the tools available to you for your own productivity and for the people on the other side.

Be Respectful

Unlike many other online platforms out there, a professional online situation calls for professional online communication. Some professors or businesses are more lax than others, but always remember you’re in a professional setting. Be polite, respectful, and scholarly in your communication with others at all times. Be conscious of how the written word can be misinterpreted. Don’t misinform; avoid condescending remarks; don’t use profanity, and respect the opinions of others. Those things aren’t always followed in the online world, but it’s a much different scenario working remotely or going to school online. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to follow those guidelines in the casual online world as well.

In truth, the etiquette for online school or remote work is similar to the etiquette required in an office or in the classroom. You should be present and available, secure confidential or personal information, respect your deadlines, utilize the tools made available to you, and be respectful to the people you communicate with. Communicating online requires a different path to reach the same goal. As long as you’re making your online experience a positive one, you’re making life easier for the people on the other end of your internet connection.

About the Author

Chelsey Ranard is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about addiction recovery advocacy, loves talk radio, and prefers her coffee iced. Follow her on Twitter!

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