In today’s digital world, effective online communication has become an essential skill for both personal and professional success. Working or going to school online has become more common than ever. And most of us keep in touch with friends and family online.
Navigating the world of social media, email, and video conferencing can be daunting, especially if you didn’t grow up with these tools. This shift to online platforms as remote work, virtual learning, and online socializing continue to become more prevalent, the importance of communication skills will only continue to increase.
Communicating online can be a bit tricky at times. You can’t rely on facial expressions and body language to convey your message, so it’s important to be mindful of your words and tone.
With these 4 easy tricks, you can master the art of online communication and communicate with confidence and ease. Whether you’re looking to connect with family and friends or collaborate with colleagues, these tips will help you make a lasting impression online.
Key Differences Between Online Work and Traditional Work
Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or distance education student or you about to start your first online job or class, you already know that working online is totally different than in-person.
Rather than seeing your colleagues, professors, or managers in person each day, you will have to make connections with them through Slack groups, discussion forums, emails, and live chat. This can be both good and bad.
The fact that you have the time to think before you respond makes offering ideas easier and less stressful. But, you also have to be careful how you come across in an online setting.
It can be easy for misunderstandings to occur through written communication. Make sure you never rub anyone the wrong way, by improving your communication skills.
1. Respect People’s Time
Try to remember that other people have lives and obligations and be respectful of their time.
For example, professors have other courses to teach and students to communicate with, let alone personal lives to attend to. And your classmates are also most likely busy people with little time to spend helping you or chatting with you. The same can be said for you boss and coworkers.
For remote jobs, keep the different time zones in mind when scheduling meetings, too. Better yet, could this meeting be an email instead?
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out to ask questions or refrain from the friendly conversation, but always take a second to think about whether or not the specific question you are asking could be solved with a little effort on your part before you take up others’ time.
2. Be Polite and Professional
This is pretty obvious, but it can be easy to slip into a very informal mode of communication online. There is nothing wrong with using typical internet shorthand when chatting with coworkers and classmates, but make sure that you don’t take things too far. You need to stay professional.
Don’t assume you are friends with your professor or that you can address your peers in any way you choose. Begin emails with a proper salutation and keep things pleasant and respectful throughout. Then, modify your communication style depending on how they respond and the relationship develops.
3. Proofread and Use Proper Grammar
Sure, there is nothing wrong with being a bit informal when you’re writing online, but make sure that what you write is actually coherent and sounds like it was written by a competent person.
Don’t use so many abbreviations that you sound incoherent or use acronyms like LOL and OMG to the extreme. In fact, avoid them when speaking with any executives or supervisors.
Do a spell check before you send out emails, use periods, and capitalize appropriately, and make sure to proofread before hitting that submit button. Taking the extra few minutes to review your messages will save you a lot of hassle.
4. Keep Your Personal Life Private
You will hopefully develop relationships and befriend some of your fellow classmates and teammates online. However, it is important to remember that everyone is here for a purpose – to work or to learn.
Don’t start arguments or post unnecessary information about your personal life; this isn’t the time or the place for gossip or social drama. Instead, keep your online interactions professional and focused on the task at hand.
One main appeal of working remotely is that it allows you to minimize distractions and stay focused on your work without getting entangled in unnecessary drama, gossip, or wasted time.
Level Up Your Online Communication Skills
The digital age has brought us closer together than ever before, but it has also created new challenges that require us to develop new skills to thrive. With a little bit of effort and the right attitude, anyone can master the art of online communication and become a digital superstar.
So next time you find yourself typing away on your keyboard, remember these tips and tricks to make your online interactions a smashing success. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way! After all, online communication can be just as enjoyable as in-person interactions, especially when you’re armed with the right tools and a positive attitude.
Get out there and conquer the digital world, one message at a time!
Improve Your WFH Habits
Unlocking the secret to working remotely while maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be a game-changer. By adopting these seven habits, you can establish a solid routine that allows you to harness the benefits of remote work without sacrificing productivity or personal well-being.
Online Learning is a Must Today
Online education has emerged as a game-changer in recent years, offering a flexible and accessible alternative to traditional classrooms. However, we must consider its impact on the next generation of workers. Can it truly shape a more skilled and adaptable workforce?
Find a Remote Job
Does the thought of working remotely appeal to you? I’m going to guess it does, because the competition for remote jobs can get pretty fierce. But you’re in luck.
Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.