I've been a business professional for a few years and I've worked in some high-stress environments. I've observed some behaviors, good and bad, that influence how your boss and coworkers regard you. I urge you to consider these five basic technology tips for the workplace environment.
1.) When texting someone don't assume that you're in their phone's address book; tell them who you are at the beginning of your text. Not everyone has the time or know-how to synch their contact lists.
2.) Summarize your email in the subject line. In a work environment people can get hundreds of emails and they don't necessarily have time to read them all. If you have an item that is urgent, SAY SO in the subject line. Here are some examples:
- Latest ad edits for Moldmakers Digest; please review before Friday
- URGENT Mr. Takadaki bringing wife to dinner tonight; rez already changed; want assistant to buy gift?
- PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE Smith at Crescent wants to change PO 13341
What should be obvious is that urgent items should be handled with a phone call, but I've worked with people who wanted emails to document or accompany the phone call so they have a reminder.
3.) LinkedIn has become a valuable business networking site. If you are wise you have joined groups and participate in discussions. When you DO you should neatly summarize your subject line (much like the email subject lines above) and then in the body of the message, open with who you are, what company you represent and then write your message like a college-educated business professional. LinkedIn is NOT Facebook! There is no excuse for "phone shorthand" (i.e. "tht is gr8," etc.) If you can't string words together to make a legible sentence and sentences into paragraphs please hire someone who can before you embarass yourself.
4.) If you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or AOL for your professional email instead of a domain-associated email (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) don't be surprised if your email is erased without review at worst or not taken seriously at best. If you have a company web site you should have company email. If you don't have a company web site by this time in 2012 ... I don't know if I can help you.
5.) Unless you're in the marketing department in charge of social networking outreach you have no business being on Facebook, Twitter, Tribe, MySpace, etc. Save it for your lunchbreak and don't do it on your work computer. Even if you don't have any expectations of privacy (and you should not) it looks bad to be "goofing around" at your desk while other people are working. The same goes for personal phone calls and personal emails: unless you have a serious family issue leave your work time for work.
Just updated 3/12/12:
I am forced to add this one after looking at LinkedIn today.
6.) When writing, whether in blog posts, newsgroups, email or letters, no matter how important the question or how big the news there is never, ever a need or logic to stringing multiple question marks ("What is a good vacation to you???") or exclaimation points ("Bad News for AMR!!!!!") together. Convey the importance of your news with your words, not your punctuation.