Writing is...personal freedom...writers will write...to survive as individuals.
~ Don Delillo

Friday, January 13, 2012

Proper Behavior for Online Employers and Virtual Workers

One area where offline and online environments intersect is human behavior. Though most Internet users enjoy, if not value, anonymity, this does not negate the essence of showing good behavior when socializing online.

Technical glitches excepted, it is perceived rude to ignore an email sent by someone you already know, or to leave a chat mate waiting for your reply without saying "Bye" or without informing her/him that you have to do something else.

It is also not nice to join a site forum or a chat room and attack fellow chatters with racist, insensitive, and hurtful comments. In the work context, proper behavior for online employers and telecommuting workers requires professionalism, open communication, and respect. 

What does it mean to be professional?

Being professional can help an online applicant secure a job offer. It can also lead to more work and other potential opportunities. Professionalism is observed when an online worker does and finishes a task at a given time. Ideally, such judicious competence underlines the need for submitting quality work.

Online bosses should respect their online workers' rest time. 
There are those, however, who forgo quality in exchange for meeting a deadline. A worker then needs to be careful in doing her/his online job to avoid tarnishing not just the kind of product s/he delivers, but her/his name as well. If completing it conflicts with a personal errand, s/he knows what to prioritize. Otherwise, it is better that s/he inform or negotiate with the employer to give her/him a modified deadline.

A professional online employer, on the other hand, does not post fraudulent ads on job sites. S/He has a legitimate business identity and offers a potential employee a good reward and benefits scheme. Exploiting workers is not part of her/his value system and business ethics.

For instance, many online ads for freelance writers offer a measly payment. This shows that people who paid for these posts think that writing articles is easy. But serious writers often do research and spend time rewriting and editing their work before submitting the final one. Thus, offering less than a dollar to $10 per article is deemed unfair, if not exploitative. 

Why open communication is necessary

Being able to talk to one's boss while doing a job makes communication an integral element in maintaining a good online work relationship. The lines should always be open for the good of both parties.

This aids transparency and helps build trust. Emails, phone calls, chats, and every other medium that can facilitate the communication process are important. Questions, suggestions, and anything else related to work that needs to be resolved can only be addressed through open and honest communication. 

Importance of respect
 
Being a professional and able to communicate involves respect. Respect entails valuing the time and resources that both employer and worker can offer each other. This also plays a crucial role most particularly in handling differences. Both parties should use words that they would not regret expressing.

Online communication does have its own nuances. Consequently, misunderstandings can happen. Both parties then should be mindful of the words they use. In cases of serious disagreements, it is still vital to settle issues before either party decides to terminate the relationship. 

Good behavior knows no boundaries

Professionalism, open communication, and respect are all important in creating and maintaining good online work relationships. These not only ensure trust and a good name for both employers and workers, but they also preserve human dignity even in the virtual realm. 

Further readings:
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