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Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
Business Etiquette
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Business Etiquette

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  • 1. Business the new rules in aEtiquet te digital age
  • 2. Table of ContentsAcknowledgments ...............................................................................1The New Rules of Etiquette .................................................................. 2Professional Networking Sites, Including LinkedIn ........................... 3Social Networking Sites, Including Facebook ................................... 7Twitter .................................................................................................115 Questions to Ask Yourself About Social and Professional Networking Sites ..........................................................13E-mail ..........................................................................................................15Instant Messaging....................................................................................18Mobile Devices ................................................................................. 20Phone, Video and Web Conferencing ........................................ 22Sticky Etiquette Questions .............................................................. 24Conclusion.................................................................................. 25About Robert Half ....................................................................... 25 Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 3. AcknowledgmentsRobert Half International would like to recognize the following individuals for providing their timeand insights on etiquette in the workplace. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.Janet Aronica, Community Manager, oneforty inc.Laura Fitton, CEO and Founder, oneforty inc., Co-author, Twitter for DummiesVicky Oliver, Author, 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette QuestionsTonia Ries, CEO and Founder, Modern Media, Founder of TWTRCONTim Sanders, CEO, Deeper Media, Author, The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L Factor and Achieve Your Life’s DreamsClara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay, Author, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build BetterProducts, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff 1 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 4. “Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.”The New Rules of Etiquette ~Arthur Schopenhauer, 19 th century philosopherYou’ve mastered traditional business etiquette, seamlessly reaching for the right fork during aprofessional dinner while engaging in animated conversation with your dining companions. But at a timein which more business discussions take place via LinkedIn, Twitter or e-mail than over cocktails andhors d’oeuvres, it’s just as important – if not more so – to know how to present yourself professionallyusing digital tools.Given the newness of social media and other communications vehicles, it’s easy to say or do the wrongthing. Unfortunately, missteps in this area can have lasting consequences: An online mistake can showup next to your name in an Internet search for years to come. To help you avoid falling victim to suchblunders, Robert Half has created this guide offering insights into digital protocols, as well as advicefor handling sticky situations. The information and tips are based on surveys of executives, independentresearch, input from social media and etiquette experts, and our own experiences working with jobcandidates and clients throughout North America. We hope you find this guide useful and invite you tocontact us at 1.800.803.8367 for more information or help with any of your staffing or employment needs. 2 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 5. Professional Networking Sites, Including LinkedInAre you linking in or being left out? Professional networking sites are among the mostpopular ways of nurturing professional relationships today. Networking online is no differentthan rubbing shoulders at in-person networking events – it’s important to make a positiveimpression and follow the rules of the road. Here are some ways to get the most out ofLinkedIn and similar websites:• Complete your profile. Provide as • Request recommendations trust the most. Be careful, however, tt much information in your LinkedIn individually. Treat each request of what may be perceived as quid profile as you can. This might with the same respect you would in pro quo recommendations: If you include your professional summary, “the real world.” A generic message recommend someone just as he or work history and education. Be asking all of your connections she has posted some kind words sure to add key accomplishments to endorse you may fall on deaf about you, your kudos may be so other users get a clear picture ears. Think about it: Why create viewed as “payback.” of your capabilities, and request a personal recommendation for recommendations from past someone who can’t write personally colleagues and managers. They to request one? When appropriate can highlight and praise your (and if it’s permissible by your accomplishments in a far richer company), recommend those and more credible way. whom you know the best and 3 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 6. Professional Networking Sites,Including LinkedIn 10 Top LinkedIn Professional Groups Good business etiquette on LinkedIn includes participating in discussions and doing small favors for others. The following are the top 10 LinkedIn Groups • Prioritize quality over quantity. t Network envy can make some people ranked by number of members.* To access the LinkedIn Groups Directory, go to the search box and click on “Groups” from the pull-down menu: link aimlessly just to build their number of contacts. Don’t invite strangers to 1. Linked: HR (#1 Human Resources Group) your network merely to make it larger, 2. Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections! and don’t be offended when those 3. eMarketing Association Network you’ve never met or vaguely know ignore 4. Job & Career Network your requests. Your network is only as 5. Executive Suite strong as its weakest connection. 6. On Startups – The Community For Entrepreneurs 7. Consultants Network Be a joiner. LinkedIn offers many t 8. Job & Career Network – Professions and Industries groups for people who share certain 9. Telecom Professionals passions or interests, and these can 10. The Project Manager Network – #1 Group For Project Managers be a valuable asset for keeping pace with new developments in your field. You also may want to find out if your various alumni and When participating in professional trade associations have any LinkedIn groups. If so, be sure groups, provide useful information and to join those you find most appealing. input. Avoid sending direct messages to fellow group members unless *Ranked as of Jan. 26, 2011. Top listings subject to change. you have established a personal connection beforehand. 4 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 7. Professional Networking Sites,Including LinkedIn How to Tend to Your Network in Only Five Minutes a Day: Say ‘please’ and be respectful. If you t Networking online doesn’t need to be time consuming. You can would like an introduction to someone develop your professional reputation and help others in the in a contact’s network, ask politely and process through simple etiquette practices that require only a explain why you hope to meet the other few minutes each day. person. For example, you might point 1. Be the first to have a point of view. Share a relevant news article out that the potential contact is in a and add value by including an observation that may not be so professional association of interest to you. obvious to others. • Think twice before you say yes. t 2. Let them know they’ve been heard. Listen to what your network When members of your network request has to say so you can make an informed suggestion or relevant introductions to your other contacts, introduction. don’t immediately agree, particularly if you don’t know very well the person who 3. Establish yourself as the go-to person. Consider connecting is making the request. Your reputation your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to establish more visibility. is on the line if your contact ends up Tweet your professional ideas and links into your profile using the hash tag #in. (However, think twice before connecting your becoming a nuisance to that individual. LinkedIn account to sites such as Foursquare, or other location- It also is common practice now for based social networks. It’s unlikely people in your professional “hyper networkers” to add as many network really need to know where you just ate lunch.) LinkedIn connections as possible to mine data from your profile and those 4. Try to add at least one new person to your of your friends. network a week. Growing networks are far more effective than stagnant ones. 5 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 8. Professional Networking Sites,Including LinkedIn t Make the connection clear. Too often, • Act quickly on requests. Patience is • Make a big impact with small t t people connect without thinking. a virtue, but not everyone possesses gestures. Pay attention to what When seeking to make a new contact, it. Respond to requests that come via people are saying or working on. remind a person of how you know your network promptly – within 24 You can offer helpful suggestions, him or her if it has been a while since hours, if possible. send useful articles or just leave you’ve talked. For example, you might comments, letting those in your • Keep it professional. Think twice t reference a recent conference you network know they are heard and both attended. before posting on LinkedIn, and don’t understood. You also can share post too often or on trivial subjects. insights and offer introductions to • Don’t be one-sided. An “all-about- Your aim should be to become a t others. This may take you only 45 me” approach won’t get you very far. trusted authority rather than a social seconds of effort but could have a LinkedIn and similar sites allow you gadfly. That said, it’s OK to share profound impact on the people with to ask for help from members of your personal interests such as athletics whom you wish to develop closer network quickly and easily, but don’t and hobbies, as well as a profile professional relationships. abuse this privilege with constant picture so that others can begin to requests. Also, don’t forget to thank know you. those who lend you a hand, and always look to return the favor. 6 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 9. Social Networking Sites, Including FacebookTo friend or not to friend? Social networking websites such as Facebook were initially designedas a way for individuals to connect with friends and family. Today, these tools are increasinglyused for professional purposes, particularly in industries such as public relations and entertainment.But for individuals, online social interaction deserves careful thought before deciding to inviteyour professional contacts to join your friend list.Many people attempt to keep their Facebook is a useful way to develop interacting in social communities.Facebook profiles away from the relationships that may lead to new Here are a few tips:public eye, or create separate profiles business. • Secure a vanity URL. Your name tfor social and professional purposes. Whatever your decision, it’s may be more common than youOthers have decided their work and important to understand the social think. A vanity URL will make itpersonal lives are so tightly linked networking “rules of the road.” easier for people to find you.that they have no reservations about Even if you determine it’s best to For instance, instead of a long,friending colleagues as well as pals. keep your personal and business unwieldy user name, considerJust as you might share some profiles separate, you should know facebook.com/yournameofchoice/.details about your social life with how to handle friend requests Include it in your e-mail signaturea client over lunch, you may decide gracefully and the actions you can file and on your business cards.that connecting with colleagues on take to protect your privacy. And if (Visit Facebook to learn moreFacebook allows you to build closer you do combine your personal and about usernames and check theirrelationships. Depending on your professional lives, it’s always wise to availability.)industry, you may even find that be thoughtful and considerate when 7 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 10. Social Networking Sites, Including Facebook Facebook Faux Pas: Don’t Make Claims That Your Profile Doesn’t Substantiate t• Include a profile picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. A personal photo adds A woman who called in to work claiming to be too sick to use her legitimacy and confirms that you’re the right computer got caught updating her Facebook page the same day. “Mary Jones.” The image you choose can She told her employer she was suffering from a migraine and needed be casual, but make sure it’s professional. to lie down in a dark room. The company said its discovery that she was using Facebook while home sick prompted them to lose trust in • Respect the wall. If you wouldn’t want her and resulted in her permanent dismissal. t to read it on a billboard, don’t post it to Source: “‘Ill’ Worker Fired Over Facebook,” BBC News your Facebook wall – or anyone else’s. This holds true even if you use Facebook only to socialize. Remember, anyone you ‘friend’ can see your comments, photos and YouTube video links. E-mail or use Facebook’s messaging feature instead. • Make the call. Are you using Facebook t for work or personal use? If you decide to friend coworkers, partners and customers, maintain full business acumen. Avoid posting what you ate today or what bar you are going to tonight for your business contacts to see. 8 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 11. Social Networking Sites, Including Facebook • Keep it focused. Likewise, resist the • Avoid venting. Big Brother really business pitch unless you’ve asked t t temptation to post updates about is watching, yet people continue permission. Remember to check your games, quizzes and groups to which to make the mistake of posting own photos periodically to make sure you belong if you use Facebook for negative comments or gossiping you haven’t been tagged in one you business. You’ll muddy the waters about their employers, supervisors, may not want to be associated with; and likely lose the interest of (or colleagues, or any other touchy Facebook has settings that allow you even annoy) individuals who want topic. Don’t do it – chances are the to receive an alert anytime you have to know about your professional wrong set of eyes will stumble upon been tagged in a photo. activities. Don’t add new applications your remarks. A better approach? • Please, don’t poke. Your friends may t lightly! Some automatically post your Count to 10 and consider the activities on the general RSS feed. consequences. get a kick out of your “nudges,” but it Do you really want all of your friends can be interpreted as flirting. Use this • Ask before you tag. Check with feature for personal interactions only. t knowing every time you add a sheep to FarmVille? Probably not. people before tagging them in It’s never appropriate for professional photos, especially if you think they purposes. might not appreciate it, and don’t tag someone else’s photo with a 9 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 12. Social Networking Sites, Including Facebook Thinking About ‘Friending’ Your Boss on Facebook? Executives were asked, “How comfortable would you feel about being • Take ‘no’ for an answer. When trying ‘friended’ by the following individuals on facebook?” Their responses: t to friend someone, once is enough. There’s no need to bombard the person Your Your People you Clients Vendors with repeated requests. At the same boss coworkers manage time, keep in mind that some people may not want to connect with you, Very Comfortable 15% 10% 10% 6% 5% including your boss or coworkers. Try Somewhat not to take it personally; people use 23% 37% 27% 27% 17% Comfortable different criteria for building their online social networks, or they may Not Very 17% 15% 18% 21% 25% not be regular Facebook users. Comfortable Not Comfortable • Keep it private. It’s likely you’ll find 38% 32% 39% 39% 47% t at All coworkers or other business contacts on Facebook, and not all of them will use Don’t Know 7% 6% 6% 7% 6% the site in a professional way. Respect Source: Robert Half survey of 249 senior executives at the largest companies in the United States their privacy, and don’t turn their posts and Canada into fodder for office gossip. 10 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 13. TwitterAlthough you may not know what “twibes” are, most people have used or at least heard ofTwitter since it launched in 2006. (FYI: A “twibe” is a group of Twitter users interested in acommon topic.) Twitter is perhaps the least understood of all the major social media services.How do you find meaningful information in a stream of tweets? What does RT stand for? Andwhat’s a Fail Whale? The following tips can help you interact with the “Twitterverse” (Twitteruniverse) in a professional manner when exploring this real-time information network:• Introduce yourself. Twitter is not • Be human when tweeting. It’s few minutes, and it will help yout t a place for a curriculum vitae. In important to use a human voice. connect with others who share your biography, you have a limited Keep your tone real and natural. the same interests. Remember, number of characters to explain tweeting is not about a number, • Add value. What distinct value t what you do and what followers and it shouldn’t feel forced. can expect from your feed. This do you offer your followers? Be helpful and generous. Share • Pay it forward. Retweeting others’ t makes it easy for people to decide whether to follow you. links to relevant articles or online posts helps you build rapport with resources. Tweet out information followers, encourage discussion• Start by listening. Use Twitter’s your followers can use, not and show people that it’s not allt search function to find feeds that irrelevant details. about you – others have pertinent interest you, and then spend some things to say, too! • Tweet regularly. Keep your profile t time learning how people in your industry use the platform. Tools like current by posting information CoTweet, HootSuite and TweetDeck on a regular basis – a few times allow you to create saved search a day, if possible, or as often as terms to track topics of interest. seems natural. It only takes a 11 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 14. Twitter Social Networking Lessons From the Fatty Paycheck • Offer thanks. Acknowledge • Think before you tweet. t t It’s undeniable that one tweet can set off a firestorm, retweets by publicly thanking the When using Twitter for or, in some cases, get you fired. A job candidate was people who shared your information. business, keep it PG-rated. offered a position by Cisco Systems, Inc., but her But don’t go overboard – it clutters Avoid posting any information angst about the opportunity led her to tweet the pros your followers’ streams. Consider a about controversial topics or and cons. Someone claiming to be a Cisco employee direct message (DM) instead. sharing sensitive information – saw the tweet and responded: you could get into hot water. • Keep it light. You only have 140 “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the t characters to make a statement, • Connect your LinkedIn and utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute t so don’t write in too formal a Twitter accounts. You can display to San Jose and hating the work.” fashion. Consider using fewer than select tweets in your LinkedIn – via Twitter 140 characters to make it easier profile by using the hash tag #in “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would for others to retweet your posts. within your Twitter post. It’s a way love to know that you will hate the work. We here to gain more traction, further build at Cisco are versed in the web.” • Be open. Twitter offers a privacy t your reputation and establish – via Twitter feature, and, while it’s subject yourself as a go-to person, as to change from time to time, 90 long as you follow Twitter best Sources: “A Guide to Protecting Your Online Identity,” percent of users don’t enable practices and use a light hand. Mashable; “Social Networking and Your Job: Lessons From it. Open accounts encourage It can be annoying when all of a the ‘Cisco Fatty’,” Excelle, A Monster Community the most listening, learning and person’s tweets indiscriminately sharing, so think twice before show up via LinkedIn. locking an account you use for business. You can easily block individual accounts, if necessary. • But don’t be too open. Because t of the space limitations, Twitter is not the best place to resolve sticky dilemmas. For sensitive issues, use the DM feature. 12 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 15. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Social andProfessional Networking SitesOverwhelmed by all of the social media possibilities? Don’t worry – you don’t have to do it all.Use the following questions to help you determine the best medium for your message:1 2 3What’s your primary goal? Which sites do the people you What’s your strategy? want to connect with use?Do you want to connect with friends, Decide how much time you’re willingbusiness contacts or both? Are you LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to invest, and then choose specificlooking to build your professional offer the opportunity to reach a tasks that will help you achieve yourreputation, relocate to a new city, wide audience, but they are used for goals. You may decide to join fivefind a new job, or stay up-to-date different purposes and in different new LinkedIn groups, follow 10on industry news? Knowing your contexts. Determine the audience new people on Twitter each month,main objective can help you identify you wish to reach and find out or network on Facebook for a setthe best social networking tool for which sites they use and what amount of time each day. Changeyour needs. communication style they prefer. your approach to find out what works best for you. Investing just a few minutes a day can help you manage your time and pay significant returns. 13 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 16. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Socialand Professional Networking Sites Who’s Searching Whom? - 44% of adults who are online have searched for information about someone whose services or advice they 4 seek in a professional capacity. What can you offer that’s different from - 31% of employed Internet users have searched online others? for information about coworkers, professional colleagues If you’re an expert in your field or just well or business competitors, up from 23 percent in 2006. versed on a particular topic, you can share your knowledge with others. Provide links to Who’s Sharing What? relevant articles or videos. Ideally, you can offer insights on industry trends or share - 65% of adult social networking users have changed the some unique expertise of your own. privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online. - 27% of employed Internet users now work for an 5 employer that has policies about how they present How will you monitor your progress? themselves online – such as what they can post on blogs and websites, or what information they can share about The more you participate in your network, themselves. the more you’ll gain from it. But don’t get hung up on the numbers. There are many Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, A Project of the ways to get more “followers,” but those Pew Research Center, “Reputation Management and Social large follower or friend numbers don’t Media,” by Mary Madden and Aaron Smith, May 26, 2010 necessarily mean you’re getting more from your network. Instead, focus on the value of the new relationships you’re developing. You’ll see a much higher return if you focus on quality versus quantity. 14 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 17. E-mailAlthough most professionals are well versed in using e-mail, many still struggle with the finerpoints. It’s commonly known that typing in all CAPS is equivalent to “cybershouting” – but hereare some other protocol points to consider:• Be kind. Don’t use e-mail to say no, • Use only one account for work. • Respond in a timely manner. tt t argue, criticize or deliver bad news. Keep work-related e-mails coming Try to respond to all messages Pick up the phone or deliver the and going from your work account within 24 hours, but don’t say information face to face. only. Having a single address you’ll reply with a more detailed makes it easy for people to find response at a later date unless• Make every e-mail fight for its right t your messages. And it will prevent you really intend to follow through. to be sent. The less you send, the business messages from getting If you’re in consecutive meetings more likely your messages will tangled with your personal e-mail – or away from the office, put an be read. Don’t copy others unless and perhaps neglected as a result. out-of-office message on so people they really need to read it. aren’t left wondering when you’ll • Consider your e-mail account t• Be considerate, not cryptic. Don’t get back to them.t when job hunting. It may go expect others to decipher what without saying, but don’t use • Be crystal clear. In your subject t you mean by reviewing an entire your current work e-mail to send line (and you should always have e-mail thread. Just because you resumes to prospective employers. one!), explain what you want: Do are on the go doesn’t mean you Also, avoid using overly personal you need someone to review should expect others to piece e-mail handles when job hunting, or approve something, or is the together what’s being requested. such as “partyanimal@ .com.” message simply an FYI? In the Not everyone will appreciate your message itself, get to the point sense of humor and “too much and use bullets, which are easier information” can be a turn-off. to scan than large blocks of text. 15 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 18. E-mail • Don’t get too fancy. Avoid bright like YouSendIt that allows you to • Reply with care. When responding t t colors, odd fonts or extra-long transmit large files over the Internet. to an e-mail with multiple recipients, signature lines. Some people find (Be sure to check your company’s IT think twice about whether you really these distracting or just plain annoying. policy first.) need to reply to all, and double-check Include your personal or business your response before doing so. Bad • Don’t cry wolf. Is it really urgent or t links to social and professional “Reply to All” threads run rampant networking sites when appropriate. are you simply feeling impatient? throughout organizations. Resist the temptation to flag your • Watch the size. An e-mail with messages with a big red exclamation • Think before you send. Always t t a mega-attachment might never point when they’re really not that review the distribution list when reach its recipient, and if it does, it time sensitive. The result of doing so sending a sensitive message. Many a could overload the inbox. Consider constantly? People simply will stop message has erroneously been sent zipping the file or utilizing a service paying attention. to the wrong person with disastrous consequences. Are Tech Etiquette Breaches a Career Killer? Executives were asked, “to what extent, if any, can technology etiquette breaches, for example, sending e-mail messages to unintended recipients, checking e-mail on a blackberry during meetings, etc., adversely affect a person’s career prospects?” Their responses: Greatly 15% Somewhat Don’t know - 1% 61% 23% Not at all Source: Robert Half survey of 659 human resources managers in the United States and Canada 16 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 19. E-mail E-mail Mistakes on the Job Executives were asked, “Have you ever mistakenly e-mailed someone the wrong message or copied someone on a message without intending to?” Their responses: Yes 78% 22% No Source: Robert Half survey of 250 advertising and marketing executives in the United States Among the Most Embarrassing Blunders Reported Were the Following: • “Someone sent out confidential • “I once sent a job offer to the wrong • “We sent an e-mail to a client that was salary information to the whole firm.” person.” meant for a vendor. It made it difficult • “An employee sent his resume to me • “A person called another employee when the client had seen our costs.” by mistake. It was supposed to go to an idiot in an e-mail to everyone in • “Confidential information about one an outside company.” the company.” client was sent to a different client. • “Someone made a nasty comment • “My receptionist sent a very gossipy It was certainly embarrassing.” about a supervisor and it was sent to and catty e-mail about another • “Someone crafted a scathing, the supervisor by mistake. It eventually employee to the wrong person. It sarcastic e-mail about a customer led to dismissal.” was so unprofessional that she was and did not mean to hit ‘send.’ It terminated.” caused problems.” 17 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 20. Instant MessagingCould it be the “instant” in instant messaging that makes this form of online chat so appealing?It isn’t used in every office, but it is becoming more common as a business communication tool.One of the reasons its popularity is growing is because it allows you to send and receive messagesso quickly. But before sending your next IM, make sure you follow these etiquette rules:• Be unassuming. When using • Restrain yourself. IMs can be And if your overall exchange ist t this medium, remember that distracting because they often taking up too much time or text, your colleagues have their own pop up in front of other open a phone call or in-person meeting schedules and deadlines. Don’t computer windows and are can yield quicker results. assume a coworker is available usually accompanied by a noise • Avoid pop-ups. There’s a time t just because the person’s IM trumpeting their arrival. Don’t status indicates he or she is overdo it. and place for IMs, but not during logged on. Your colleague may meetings. Remember to log • Keep it short and sweet. A good out of your chat feature before t have forgotten to change the status to “busy” or could simply rule of thumb is to consider the presenting in a meeting using prefer to concentrate on a length of a “tweet” for your instant your computer or laptop. Constant different task for the time being. messages. IMs are best for quick IMs popping up, especially if they back-and-forth conversations; aren’t business-related, can be many IM programs even limit distracting. the amount of text. If you’re approaching that limit, it’s a sign that you need to switch to e-mail. 18 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 21. Instant Messaging t• Exercise caution. People frequently • Go with the flow. After a 10-minute • Sign off properly. There’s nothing t t use IM at work, but it’s easy to send IM exchange with your manager, he more frustrating than having a five- a message to someone you didn’t writes, “Back to my work” and ends minute IM conversation that ends with intend to contact – particularly the conversation. Don’t take offense someone waiting for a final response. when chatting with multiple people at his brevity or perceived tone. Let the person on the other end know at once. When in doubt about the Because IM involves quick volleys if you must curtail a chat session. appropriate use of IM at work, check of conversation, it’s easy to appear It’s nice to offer a short reason your company’s policy. abrupt or rude when no offense why you are signing off, such as a is meant. scheduled call, or simply a “TTYL” • Watch your tone. Attempts at t (talk to you later). humor or sarcasm can fall flat or be • Be responsive, not dormant. When t misinterpreted in an IM. Make sure chatting on IM, return your reply in a you are familiar with the recipient’s timely fashion. Try to respond to the sense of humor before attempting other person within a few minutes to be funny. Using emoticons can and generally not longer than five indicate a more lighthearted message, minutes. If you are going to be away but when used excessively, they can from your computer temporarily but come off as unprofessional. When wish to continue your IM exchange, in doubt, be straightforward. tell the other person you will BRB (be right back). 19 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 22. Mobile DevicesMobile devices such as BlackBerrys, Droids and iPods are pervasive, but others can takeoffense when they’re always turned on. As new products are released and these tools becomeeven more ubiquitous, it pays to understand proper workplace decorum. Here’s some advice:• Take a break. Give your colleagues reachable, set the phone to vibrate • Disconnect the Bluetooth. tt the courtesy of keeping your and keep it in your pocket or bag Always being plugged in doesn’t devices out of sight during to muffle the sound. necessarily make you look meetings. Constantly checking indispensible, but it may give • Know your location. Unless you t and texting tells others that your you the nickname “cyborg.” Your focus is elsewhere, and it could work in TV, you don’t want to be “always accessible” demeanor snowball – when one person uses known as the “broadcaster.” Too may imply that you can’t give your a device, other people will think it’s often, conversations that should be full attention to the matter right OK and start using theirs. Step out confined behind closed doors take in front of you. if you need to respond to an urgent place in coffee shops, grocery store lines, airport gates and even • Distinguish between 911 and 411. t message or make a call. restrooms. Would you have the Think about it. Can your question• Turn it off. Are you guilty of a loud conversation if the guy behind you or request wait? If a colleaguet ringtone, or a phone vibrating on in line worked for the competition provides a cell phone number to use the conference table? Both will or was related to one of your in emergencies, honor that request. annoy coworkers during a meeting. company’s executives? Make – What’s urgent for you might not So, when in doubt, turn it off and take – sensitive calls from a be so for the company or your completely. If you need to be private place. contact, so ask yourself honestly: Is this a 911 or a 411 issue? 20 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 23. Mobile Devices • Text selectively. Texting a colleague phone. If you text coworkers, be messages full of confusing acronyms t is helpful when sending directions to sure to identify yourself. and abbreviations. Though perfection a lunch meeting or letting the person is not always necessary when texting, • Go light on the text speak. Cryptic t know you’re running late. But it’s not remember to remain professional. the tool for meaningful dialogue. code, such as AFC (away from computer) or CYE (check your • Identify yourself. Don’t assume e-mail) makes texting shorthand t your recipients have your contact a whole new language, but not information programmed into their everyone is fluent. Don’t send Tech Etiquette Outlaws: Are You One of Them? Chief information officers were asked, “In your opinion, has the increased use of mobile electronic gadgets – such as cell phones, smartphones, handheld devices and laptops – increased or decreased the number of breaches in workplace etiquette in the past three years?” Their responses: Increased significantly Increased somewhat 21% 29% Don’t know/no answer - 2% Decreased significantly - 2% Decreased somewhat - 4% 42% Remained the same Source: Robert Half survey of 1,718 chief information officers in the United States and Canada 21 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 24. Phone, Video and Web ConferencingNo doubt about it, today’s technology can make distance irrelevant. As the workforcebecomes more dispersed and companies recognize the cost savings of connecting remotely,phone, video and web conferencing – and especially, applications like Skype – are growing inpopularity. It can be difficult, however, to know how to interact with colleagues and businesscontacts who are in different locations. Follow these tips to stay on the up-and-up:• Take a trial run. Know how to use times in mind. Websites such as prepared with some thoughtst the conferencing technology prior timeanddate.com can help you instead of coming in cold. to scheduling a meeting. If you’re decipher time zones. Avoid hosting • Be a good host. Here’s your t not familiar with the video screen, a meeting very early, late or during web-hosting software, webcam or lunch, if possible. chance to show your true skills telephone features, plan a practice as a facilitator. If you’re leading run so you can troubleshoot issues • Get the team ready. In advance of t the call, make appropriate without wasting others’ time. a conference call, give attendees introductions before giving a brief what they’ll need for the meeting overview. Keep the discussion• Watch the clock. Would your – dial-in number, pass code, login moving and have an eye on thet colleagues in Asia appreciate a information and attachments clock so you can leave a few conference call at 3 a.m. their (e.g., presentations, sales reports). minutes at the end to address time? When scheduling a meeting If you want them to review the questions, recap, and confirm that involves individuals from materials in advance, say so. Include next steps and deadlines. several locations, keep their local a brief agenda so people can come 22 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 25. Phone, Video and Web Conferencing • Be inclusive. Out of sight shouldn’t • Enjoy the silence. It can be a virtue, • Don’t put people on hold. More t t t mean out of mind. If part of the and who enjoys being interrupted? than one conference has ended group is meeting in person, don’t In virtual meetings, it can be difficult prematurely because on-hold music forget about those joining via phone to determine whose turn it is to speak. has prevented the conversation from or online. Ask them for their thoughts A lag in the connection may also proceeding. Remind attendees at the if they seem quiet. cause a delayed response. Allow beginning of the meeting to hang up for pauses in the conversation so if they must attend to something else. • Make the introduction. You may t everyone can weigh in and catch up. think your voice is distinctive, but it’s • Use mute. It’s just common courtesy t not always easy to tell who’s talking. • Pay attention. Don’t get caught to limit distracting background noises t Encourage everyone to introduce daydreaming. It’s easy to let your mind when you’re listening to others. themselves before they speak. Also, wander during a remote meeting, or Remember to turn your mute button be sure to acknowledge someone you may begin to multitask if you’re off before it’s your turn to speak. who joins midway through the call. not being directly addressed. Conference Call Culprits Executives were asked, “When you participate in meetings via teleconference, how frequently do you do other things, like answer e-mail or surf the Internet, during the meeting?” Their responses: Very frequently Somewhat frequently 12% 33% Never 19% 36% Not frequently Source: Robert Half survey of 763 advertising and marketing executives in the United States and Canada 23 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 26. Sticky Etiquette QuestionsOccasionally we all come across situations in which we wonder, “Would Miss Manners approve?”But in the digital age of social networking, the etiquette lines can become even blurrier. Followingare some common sticky etiquette questions and tips to help tackle them:Should I personalize my LinkedIn Should I friend my boss or coworkers? a sense of them or their organization,requests to connect with others? This is the $64,000 question, and and determine if you’ll be interestedIt’s perfectly fine to use the form those on the receiving end may provide in seeing the kind of content theyletter, even when connecting with the answer. (See “Thinking About share. Although it’s considered goodclose contacts. But if you wish to ‘Friending’ Your Boss on Facebook?” etiquette to follow someone back, don’tconnect to someone you haven’t on Page 10.) If you do connect, utilize do it indiscriminately. It’s your feed, andseen in a while, take the time to privacy settings and different friend you want to make it valuable to you.personalize the message. lists to control how – and with whom Uh oh. I sent a confidential e-mail to – you share content. Be sensitive to the wrong person. What do I do now?What’s the right way to decline a how engaged your company is in digital networking. First, try to use the recall functionrequest to connect with someone? if your e-mail program offers thisNo response at all might be your option. If this step doesn’t solve If someone follows me on Twitter,best bet. Don’t feel pressured to the problem, contact those who should I follow him or her back?connect with someone you would are affected, and explain your errorrather not form a relationship with, No, because you may end up and whether you need their helpand don’t feel the need to explain unfollowing the person later. Before correcting it. You also may need toyour decision. Simply click “Ignore.” following people, check out their inform your manager of the mistake. feed, bio and previous tweets to getFor more sticky situations, visit roberthalf.us/BusinessEtiquette. 24 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 27. ConclusionSocial media and other technology tools have created new forums for connecting, sharing and, unfortunately, blundering.Workplace controversies have ensued, but we can learn from our own and others’ missteps. The occasional “oops”is inevitable when using a new device or becoming accustomed to an emerging online platform. When that happens,rectify mistakes as soon as possible, apologize to those who may have been affected and forgive others when theymake gaffes. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and forgiving quickly could indeed be the best etiquettelesson of all.About Robert HalfFounded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, with more than 350 officesworldwide. The company’s professional staffing divisions include Accountemps®, Robert Half® Finance &Accounting and Robert Half® Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals,respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam®, for highly skilled office and administrative supportprofessionals; Robert Half® Technology, for project and full-time technology professionals; Robert Half® Legal,for project and full-time staffing of lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group®, forinteractive, design and marketing professionals. For more information about the specialized staffing and recruitmentdivisions of Robert Half, visit roberthalf.com.All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. 25 t t Robe Rt Half • BuSINESS E TIQuE T TE: THE NE W RuLES IN A D Ig ITAL AgE
  • 28. Connect with us:roberthalf.com • 1.800.803.8367 t©2011 Robert Half. An Equal Opportunity Employer. RH-0111

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