Guidelines for Digital Etiquette: How to Communicate Online Without Annoying Others.

Since many firms have transitioned to remote work, communication via corporate chats has increased. The team is in luck if the work chat is used for its intended purpose and during business hours. However, the risks are enormous, and many chats, even after work and on weekends, tend becoming repositories of spam and continuous sound notifications.

Why is digital etiquette necessary?

Etiquette is necessary to avoid interactions with people turning into a nightmare. We learn respect and sensitivity, and we study the traditions and customs of various countries so that we do not offend with inaccurate remarks or, for example, eating habits. We learn to maintain a conversation so that we are not alone and surrounded by the splendor of a psychopath.

This necessitates the use of digital etiquette, or network communication norms. So that your online interaction does not turn into a source of contention and misunderstanding.

The world is evolving rapidly, and so are the dynamics of communication.

The only issue is that online etiquette norms are still being defined. That is to say, the rules are not widely recognised. Digital etiquette is a type of outward depiction of attitude toward people: it reveals a broad trend rather than forecasting a single individual’s reaction.

Different generations may have different perspectives on technology. On average, people aged 25 and higher struggle with voice messages. Students, on the other hand, are constantly exchanging them.

Your internet etiquette should be more stringent the less you know about someone. A message with more emoticons than words may not startle a close friend, but a coworker or anybody you’ve never met is more likely to see it as unwelcome familiarity.

We share with you a set of guidelines. These are the principles to which Octonius aspires in order to sustain pleasant online dialogues with coworkers, acquaintances, and friends.

One idea, one message.

Do not send every 1-2 words as a separate message from what you’re attempting to write. Before selecting the “Send” button be sure you’ve said all you want to say in a single message.

Be precise.

You never know what kind of mood someone may be in when they get your message. So: say “hello” in the beginning of the message if you’re having your first conversation of the day.  Don’t forget to include the word “please” in your request. It is best to call to discuss a difficult issue. It’s easier than texting, explaining why your team missed deadlines or an employee was late for training in the midst of growing pressure. If you must criticise, provide a suggestion. Instead of asking, “why did you perform so poorly?” suggest, “it looks to me that if you did this, it would be much better.”

Don’t write in capital letters.

Also, don’t use too many exclamation points. Both of them read like screams. And it makes one want to stop communicating with you, whether in writing or talking. Is that what you’re looking for?

It is best to send audio messages after reaching an agreement.

We feel it is ideal to send audio messages to someone only if both of you agree on this mode of communication. Furthermore:

  • when it is easier and faster to transmit the meaning and record audio messages. For example, if you have a new idea to explain in detail. If the essential concept of the message can be expressed in a few phrases, it is better to write it in the text;
  • make up your mind about your idea before recording a voice message;
  • nobody wants to listen to 4-minute audio in which you mumble for 3 minutes while trying to figure out what you want to say;
  • great to include text description with the audio message. For example “Here I’m sharing my insight for our presentation”.

Punctuation matters.

Spelling and punctuation were created for a purpose. Make an attempt to write correctly even if you’re texting while on the go. Please:) Also, double-check the message if you’re using T9. It frequently quietly alters the meaning.

Dose the use of Emojis.

Use emoji as a garnish: they can give a hint of meaning, but they should not be the major focus of the message. In other words:

  • use just one emoji for 2-3 phrases;
  • do not put emoji in the middle of a sentence, one, in the end, is great;
  • do not replace words with emojis.

Links without notes are impolite.

When sending a link to text, audio, or video to your opponent, it is always best to introduce what you are forwarding quickly. Otherwise, it may appear to be spam, an advertisement, or a virus.

It is beneficial to list or number ideas.

If you have numerous queries or recommendations, numbering them may help the other person to understand the significance of the comments’ responses.

Messages with meaning.

Have you ever sent a “Hello” or “Are you here?” and then waited for a response? It’s worth adjusting your strategy to avoid wasting your own and other people’s time by shortening the introduction and getting straight to the subject.


Stick to the same application where you received the message, for example, if you received a query in an e-mail, do not move to a messenger to react. Alternatively, phone/video call to discuss in depth.

Getting lost in a long texting session.

Schedule a call if you see that the texting debate is becoming too long but you have not reached an agreement or agreed on a disagreement. It is always preferable to converse.

Group Discussions.

All of the rules that apply to private conversations apply to group chats as well.

Use tags to direct your message to a specific person in the group chat; otherwise, the opponent will waste time scrolling through all of the messages in the group chat.

Instead of dropping a message into a group chat like a bomb, use the reply option to keep the conversation going.

If you have anything to say to someone, say it privately. Personal questions or amendments should be written in private and not exposed to the whole community.

Spam no more.

Only write what is of importance to all participants in a group conversation.

If you want to share a personal experience, write about how you expect the group to react. For instance, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, be truthful: “Guys, I need your support. Please tell me how you cope with pressure since I don’t think I’m doing a good job at it.”

Don’t advertise anything in a group chat, even if you want to. This does not apply to chats whose purpose is to trade promotional and advertising messages.


Schedule a call.

Whatever application you intend to use for a call, please schedule it upfront. Send a note and suggest making a phone call. It is polite to indicate how much time it will take and what questions you wish to discuss. Do not be surprised or disappointed, if a random person declines a call without a previous arrangement.

If you intend to record a call or a video, notify the opponent/s about it before.

If you do not plan to speak during an online meeting, silence the microphone. External noise will not affect other people for the sake of the team. Keep in mind that you are online, and it is best not to, for example, begin changing your clothing. Yes, we’ve seen everything:)


Respond to communications via e-mail within 24 hours during working hours; in a messenger, respond within one workday. Of course, you should not be online 24 hours a day, seven days a week just because you have a messenger installed (if it was prearranged before). Ignoring communications if there is a question is still impolite. If you believe you will require more time to react than you have available, simply inform the opponent. For example, I am currently occupied. I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

Respond in great detail.

Laconic reactions may be perplexing. Respond by explaining your reasoning or suggesting something different. Avoid using yes/no responses.

If you get multiple questions, respond to each one. Do not overlook a question to which you do not wish to respond. It would only prolong the conversation. I don’t want to respond – it may be an understandable and correct response.

Ignoring someone may cause issues in real-world communication. If someone has shared something with you, it is polite to answer in a classy manner: “Thank you. I’ll check it later,” rather than remain mute indefinitely.

Personal communication is, well, personal. If you wish to share your chat with another person, take the courtesy to ask the opponent with whom you previously spoke for permission.

Try to avoid calling your coworkers after hours. If you do, don’t expect an immediate answer. Also, many applications feature a Delayed message function, so the message may be scheduled so that it does not annoy a colleague over the weekend or on a holiday.

Emotional intelligence.

Do not respond if you are angry or upset. Stop for a moment to gather your thoughts before responding to the point.

Look at it through the lens of real-life principles if the amount of rules gives you the sensation that you have to control yourself too much and make the conversation far too formal. Etiquette guidelines may help you get along with people, communicate sensitive and important problems, and improve the effectiveness of your digital communication.

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