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Read our top six tech-related etiquette (techiquette?!) pitches.

6 tech-related office etiquette rules to enforce in your workplace


The modern workplace is almost unrecognisable from the offices of 20 or 30 years ago, but - without wanting to sound like the fun police - work is still work and that means facilities managers and other team leaders need to make sure staff aren't straying too far from appropriate workplace behaviour.

Getting on well and collaborating with colleagues is strongly encouraged, but that doesn't mean a professional manner needs to go out of the window - as can be the case in some situations.

And with so much new technology in place, it can be difficult for both managers and employees to get to grips with what's expected of them and what's appropriate when it comes to new devices and pieces of software.

That's why we've compiled this list for facilities managers - our top six tech-related etiquette (techiquette?!) pitches to enforce in the workplace.

1. Don't abuse the instant messenger

Not every office exchange requires an email or a chat in person and there's an abundance of instant messaging apps available these days for sending a quick sentence or two to colleagues. Popular examples include Google Hangouts, Jabber and Spark, to name just a few.

These can be really handy, allowing workers to reply to messages in their own time, but it is important that employees don't abuse the system. Encourage them to be considerate of people's 'busy' functions and to still send an email if it's something that needs to be recorded permanently or if it's a longer message.

2. Keep it quiet

With phones ringing, meetings taking place, the radio on and the constant buzz of office chatter, workplaces can get pretty noisy, so you don't want staff adding to this unnecessarily.

That person who always has their phone on loudspeaker gets on everyone's nerves, so make sure there are rules in place about only using that function in a meeting room or breakout area, or after they've used common courtesy and checked it's OK with other staff first.

What's more, there are usually enough phones going off without people's personal mobiles constantly ringing and vibrating as well. Make sure that staff know to keep their phones switched to silent during the working day - it's not always practical to turn them off, in case of an emergency - but they shouldn't be a distraction to themselves or their colleagues.

3. Never unplug someone else's device

Unplugging a device can be disastrous. Hot desking and other forms of increased collaboration between different departments mean employees often need to use someone else's computer.

However, staff should know never to unplug anyone else's computer. This can lead to important work and files being lost, potentially leading to someone being placed in a compromising situation with a client or the rest of their team.

Staff should also know not to leave themselves logged in on someone else's device. It may sound like a simple thing to do, but if a manager logs into a trainee's laptop for the afternoon and leaves themselves logged in, this presents a whole host of data security and access concerns.

4. Don't be an inbox spammer

Office workers can receive hundreds of emails every day and spend a lot of time ploughing through their ever-growing piles of messages to try to stay on top of their inboxes, so make sure your employees know not to send excess emails.

Unnecessarily clicking on 'reply all' can induce rage in even the quietest of employees, while sending gifs related to your favourite niche TV programme that no one else has ever heard of in reply to messages is equally frustrating.

If there are certain members of staff who are repeat offenders, tell them to rein it in - after all, it's the little frustrations that tend to get on top of people and lead them to look for a new place to work. You don't want to lose your best workers to small annoyances, so nip them in the bud before they get out of hand.

5. Not everything needs to be printed

Many offices are making the move to paperless - whereby all files are stored online rather than in their physical form. This not only makes operations easier to manage, but it also helps to improve an organisation's green credentials.

Document scanning can assist with the move to this approach, allowing businesses to manage all of their files online or via the cloud, making collaboration easier and significantly more effective.

And for things that do need to be printed, if you're on a budget, it's best to stick to black and white as this can help to keep costs down.

6. File sensibly

After scanned documents have been uploaded, it is important that staff are filing everything sensibly to make it easy to find in the future. Silly or unclear file names or ones that disclose sensitive information aren't appropriate.

It's also essential to make sure that everyone who needs access to a file can view and edit it. Apps such as Google Drive enable documents, spreadsheets and presentations to be shared between colleagues, allowing for project collaboration.

What's more, research carried out by YouGov led to the discovery that small and medium-sized businesses in the UK waste over £42.2 million each day in time that is spent looking for documents - something that can be ill afforded in today's challenging economic times, meaning a clear filing system is now more important than ever.


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