FEBRUARY 14, 2023
Since We’ve Gone Virtual, We’ve Lost Professional Etiquette And Standards
I’ll say what many of us have been thinking.
In our abrupt transition to remote work, we lost professional etiquette, and as we return to the office, it’s really showing up!
People seem to have forgotten what acceptable work attire is. We spent two years in sweatpants and slippers, only throwing on a blazer for a meeting. Now we’re going back to work, and leggings have replaced slacks and T-shirts have replaced button downs.
We went from formal to business casual to what I call leisure plus! Is this impression aligned with your professional presentation?
And it’s not just in how we dress; it’s in how we comport ourselves.
Our professional standards aren’t what they once were.
In-Person Interactions Promote Professionalism
The bar for how we interact and show up for each other, and how we work with clients, has been lowered.
A return to work will help bring it back up.
Organizations must remember that we practice civility, respect, and dedication to a higher standard when we are in the presence of other people.
Think about how you might act in front of a client, donor, or CEO vs. your kids, friends, or workout partner. There’s value in this to the workplace and the workforce.
When we rush to start the washing machine right before we sit down on a Zoom call, we are not present, acting with intent, or giving others our best selves because we are distracted.
It’s hard for employees to transition and get into the right headspace.
We also need to talk about how we have become less careful with our language at work. Our “home language” is flowing over into our conversations with clients, bosses, and teams.
It’s not just about tone but about how when we are casual with our words and our conversations, this sometimes leads to misrepresentations (on our part) and misinterpretations (on the part of others).
When managers see this happening, they will hesitate to allocate responsibilities to such employees because those employees’ will be taken less seriously. Like it or not, casual language reflects on one’s ability to deliver, to influence, or to represent the organization’s standards.
Organization At Its Best Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tawana Bhagwat, has more than twenty-five years of experience directing Human Resource administration, change management, learning and development, facilitation, DEIB, and executive coaching.