By Jaci Schreckengost
Business etiquette in 2020, especially during the pandemic, looks different than it ever has before.
As the world, businesses, and people change, so do the expectations of business etiquette.
Here are some ways to make sure you’re meeting the 2020 expectations.
Your company’s brand identity is often one of the first ways a client sees what your company does and cares about.
It’s important that when they see this, they know you care about them. Customers want to feel valued and treated with respect and honesty.
Right now, most people understand the issues that you or your company are going through.
Read also: Connecting with Customers During COVID
There are a number of vital conversations happening in 2020. You may encounter a situation where you feel uncomfortable or uneducated about something.
It’s really important to listen and give everyone the same respect you expect to receive. If you don’t know something that you would like to know, it’s okay to say so, and learn more about the topic on your own or from the other person, but only if they offer.
Whether you’re the CEO or the intern, you should feel you receive the same amount of respect from those around you. Respect is key to a healthy environment between coworkers and between the client and company.
Communicate clearly (and frequently)
Another way customers, coworkers, and other people know you care is through effective communication.
Since most people are working away from each other and have extra duties to manage right now, it’s important to communicate with intention.
Whether on social media, through a messaging system your team uses, or via email it’s important to communicate well. Make sure you’re making clear points, asking any follow-up questions you may have, and providing feedback that is motivating and respectful.
Of course, you know your team and clients better than anyone, but in many cases it’s safe to be a little more laidback than before.
For most companies, you probably shouldn’t be throwing curse words around like they’re commas, but in terms of communication and attire, it’s okay to relax a bit.
It’s okay to throw in an emoji or a GIF in an email, when appropriate. If you’re heading out for Friday afternoon or sending a happy birthday email, don’t be afraid to include the party horn emoji.
Business etiquette is changing and will continue to — but we can always do our best to learn and adapt.