New Office Etiquette in the Age of Remote Work

new office etiquette | inn at virginia tech

We’ve reached a turning point in how we work. In a recent Gallup poll, approximately half of U.S. workers report that their current job can be done remotely, at least part of the time, resulting in 42% having a hybrid schedule and 39% working entirely from home.

When considering future work arrangements, about 53% expect a hybrid schedule, and 24% expect to work exclusively remotely. Compared to pre-pandemic numbers, we’ll have a new office environment that doubles the number of people working remotely.

The silver lining to this drastic increase in hybrid and work-from-home arrangements is there is already a shift in higher productivity and improved employee satisfaction. For companies seeking to find and retain talent, remote opportunities have become a more attractive perk than paid benefits and even foosball tables.

With the rise of remote work, office etiquette has changed too. From work-from-home and hybrid meetings to gathering in-person at work socials and business events.

Let’s see how expectations have changed and how we can stay current, thanks to some tips from our director of sales and marketing, Teresa Hughes. 

Office Etiquette – What to Know, What to Consider

Back in the Office? A Refresher on In-Person Etiquette

In-person office hours are still crucial for some companies, but the office may look slightly different. If you are returning to the office, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Health first! Stay home if you’re feeling sick, and be extra mindful of personal space and cleanliness.
  • Be considerate of others’ schedules and office space. Book a time in advance if you need to meet in person.
  • Dress the part. The good news is that attire is more casual, but you still need to be mindful of dressing for the location and situation.

Teresa says, “even if you’re back in your office, I think things are more casual than they have been in the past. You still have to be appropriate, depending on where you work and the type of environment in which you work. But, things are definitely more casual than the before.”

The New Rules Of Office Etiquette For Remote Work

If you are working from home, there are a few things to keep in mind to be considerate of your office mates:

  • Turn the camera on! Virtual calls are just as important as in-person calls, and making eye contact, not multi-tasking, and staying 100% engaged shows respect for your colleagues.
  • Be conscientious about any noise you’re making on a video call.
  • Be aware of and respect others’ work hours and personal time – just because you’re at home doesn’t mean they are, too.
  • Create and stick to a daily routine to avoid distractions
  • Dress for success – it will help you feel more professional and put you in the right mindset
  • Invest in a quality headset or microphone to prevent background noise and disruptions during meetings

“I think it’s really important that you show your face because if you were in an in-person meeting, you’d all be there looking at each other.” Teresa says, “and I just think that is respectful and helpful to put names with faces.”

RELATED: Hybrid Meeting How-To: A Deep Dive Into Planning and Executing a Meeting That is Powerful and Effective

Creating a Positive Work-life Balance When You’re Working Remotely

Managers need to develop flexible work policy guidelines. Many employees increase productivity when they have the opportunity to work at their unique peak hours.

“Some folks have proven they can be productive and responsible at 3 a.m. on the beach.” Teresa says, “I just think that moving forward, there should be flexible work policy guidelines now that people have proven that they can do it.”

Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

Business Etiquette for Networking Events

Networking events may look different, but they are still a great way to connect with others in your industry. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to exchange virtual business cards so you can follow up after the event
  • Dress professionally, even if the event is virtual – first impressions count!
  • Have an elevator pitch ready to go – you never know who you’ll meet
  • Be an active listener and avoid interrupting others
  • Follow up with a handwritten note or email after the event to solidify new relationships

In-Person Meetings are More Important Than Ever

Whether you’re meeting with a client or colleague, in-person meetings are an opportunity to build relationships and show that you value the person’s time.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Be on time (or early!)
  • Dress professionally
  • Be prepared – have any materials you need ready to go
  • Be respectful of others’ time – keep the meeting on track
  • End with a positive note and thank the person for their time

RELATED: 7 Reasons You Should Plan a Face-to-Face Meeting With Your Team

In closing,  office etiquette has changed with the rise of remote work, but there are still some key things to keep in mind. Following these tips ensures you’re respecting your colleagues’ time and creating a positive work-life balance. 

Looking for a hybrid-ready space to host your next event? Learn more about state-of-the-art meetings at The Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center >>

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