Top 10 workplace etiquette rules for your hybrid team. Adjusting to a hybrid office doesn’t happen overnight. Use these 10 tips for workplace etiquette for your hybrid team. 

Hybrid work models have become the new normal for thousands of American workers. According to XpertHR’s 2021 Flexible Work Policies and Practices Survey, out of the 439 surveyed participants, 72 percent pivoted to hybrid work following the pandemic. 

How can you keep coworkers on the same page when you’re not even in the same room? Here are 10 top dos and don’ts of workplace etiquette and communication with your hybrid team.

1. Keep your distance.

Social distancing remains a core tenet of COVID best practices. Even when vaccinated, many people are still uncomfortable being in close quarters with others. Err on the side of caution and keep your distance from your coworkers. That may mean leaving space between seating in communal areas or opting for an elbow bump in the place of a usual handshake.

2. Look for new ways to connect with your coworkers.

When coworkers are in the office, casual socializing goes a long way to building community and boosting morale. But those opportunities are harder to come by when team members aren’t spending physical time together. Plan the occasional video call for your team with the sole purpose of catching up. A virtual happy hour or other remote-accessible team building event can go a long way to reestablishing your office culture. 

3. Look the part, even from your living room.

Quarantine may have made workplace attire more casual, but it’s still important to try to look the part for work — even if that means forgoing sweatpants when working from home. Data suggests that getting dressed at your home office can make you more productive and helps create a clear separation between work and personal time.

4. Stay home when you’re sick.

In the pre-pandemic days, it wasn’t so unusual to head to work with a cold or other minor illness. Not anymore — if you’re feeling down, it’s best to stay home and take the opportunity to rest and recover. Depending on your workplace, it may also be standard to take a COVID-19 test and not return to the office until it comes back negative.

5. Don’t take advantage of working from home.

When you’re working from home, make sure you set aside the proper time to sit at your desk and actually get your work done. It can be easy to get distracted by what’s going on around you — the dirty laundry piling up, the allure of the coffee shop down the street — but it’s still important to complete daily duties with the same quality of work you would show in the office.

6. But also remember to log off at the end of your day.

That said, working from home can make it easy to become glued to your work all hours of the day. This sets unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for the rest of your team, and especially for anyone you manage. Remind yourself to log off when you’ve put in your hours, even if you think you could get more done. Prioritize rest to avoid the long-term burnout so common during the pandemic. 

7. Don’t forget the mute button.

The importance of the mute button while on video or phone conferences cannot be overstated. Muting yourself when you’re not speaking limits distractions, helps move meetings along and ensures that your coworkers don’t get caught in an echo or feedback loop.   

8. Keep conversation professional.

This one depends a bit on your office’s culture, but it’s always a good rule of thumb to avoid any potentially controversial topics while at work. If you are returning to the office after a long time away, it can also be easy to get sucked into workplace gossip as a way to connect with coworkers, but avoid the urge. Instead, try to think of more neutral conversation starters, such as weekend plans or your favorite binge-worthy TV show.

9. Pay attention to email etiquette.

Without the ability to simply walk over to a colleagues’ desk to ask a question, emails have become more frequent, meaning that email etiquette is even more important. Make sure to use professional language — all caps, abnormal fonts and frequent usage of bold/italics are usually no-nos. Also, be thoughtful about replying all, as more than 60 percent of employees consider it poor workplace etiquette to hit reply-all to emails. Sometimes it may be warranted, such as when providing a team-wide update, but if done unnecessarily it can clog coworkers’ inboxes and lead to frustration.

10. Be understanding of everyone’s unique situation and adjust as you learn.

Some of your colleagues may be going into the office five days a week, others only two and others maybe not at all. Everyone has their own reasons for the work environment they choose, and it’s important to be understanding of that, especially given the hardships many have faced since the pandemic began.  

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