Home office and digitization are changing professional etiquette, companies are introducing new trainings

17.2.2021

Work from home and the accelerated process of digitization have brought significant changes to the processes and ways of working and communication in many companies.

The lack of skills associated with the use of new technologies are companies solving from the very beginning by intensifying investments in the education of their employees. The offer of courses now also includes the principles of digital etiquette and proper online communication, which brings stress to a third of workers from home and whose mastery significantly affects the efficiency and productivity of work. This follows from a survey by the ABSL association, which brings together business service providers on the Czech market.

The pandemic has brought a boom in the digitization of many companies. In the field of business services, for example,  53% of centers accelerated their digitization projects last year. New technologies and the fact that 95% of employees work from home, together with new processes and ways of working and communication bring also new needs and challenges. “In addition to standard corporate training, companies have begun to offer their employees courses to help them use digital channels effectively and communicate properly in the online environment. The digital world in which we live today permeates professional etiquette. When working from home or dealing with business partners and colleagues employees must adopt new rules and customs, ” says Jonathan Appleton, Director of ABSL.

 

The stress from online communication is growing 

The main challenge of virtual communication include, in particular, misinterpretation of messages, which can lead not only to an unpleasant atmosphere among colleagues, but also to reduced work efficiency and productivity. However, inconveniences can also be caused by poorly managed communication through video calls and video conferencing, which is used by almost every employee working from home today. The chosen platform must be really well controlled and at the same time it is necessary to think about the right light and the environment that the camera captures. Everyone should also realize that it does not look very decent when the camera captures how the participant tries to handle an email or reply to an SMS during a call. Failure to master these basics can lead to stressful situations.

According to a recent Adaptavist survey, up to 38% of respondents are concerned about working communication on digital platforms, and the fact that about half of employees actively use more than four digital channels certainly does not help either. Switching between them, their constant control and change of context also have a negative effect on work productivity and the ability to concentrate. “The courses that companies offer to their employees can easily allay these concerns. They provide guidance for effective online communication, introduce proven best practices, and teach participants how to adhere to working hours and certain habits in a home office mode, ” recommends Jonathan Appleton.  The longer people work from home offices, the greater they tend to be online without any break, which is gradually becoming a source of stress for a growing number of people. It is therefore necessary to keep in mind that working all day at the computer is challenging for body and mind, and regular breaks and rest between virtual meetings are more than necessary.

Unclear border between work and private life

The effectiveness of work can also be affected by blurring the boundaries between work and personal life and absence of direct social interaction. During working hours, workers are often left easily distracted by domestic affairs, outside of working hours again tempted to continue to be divided work. Neither is ideal. “Our data shows that outside working hours, notifications are switched off computer or phone only less than half of people. I personally recommend these announcements outside of work turned off, and thus have an undisturbed space for your private life, “says Jonathan Appleton, adding that some communication channels and social platforms are widely used by workers to work as well as to have private conversation, which makes it very difficult to separate these borders. And these aspects, new training for companies addresses.

Year-on-year, 21% more time for education 

The new areas of training that business service centers are introducing have also effect on the growth of time spent on corporate training activities. Forms of the educational programs are often very innovative. For example, Deutsche Telecom Services has introduced the Digital Champion program, in which selected employees learn new methods of work and how to work with all the digital tools used in the company. Subsequently, these “champions” are teaching the new skills their colleagues. In addition, the company has expanded its catalog of online educational programs with courses focused on mental well-being and resilience, stress management and the organization of work from home, aptly called Family and children under one roof.

 

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