The AUN's tips to a productive and healthy digital workplace

By Buranond Kijwatanachai, Programme Officer
Information compiled by Monsiri Chintanavisit, AUN-QA Assessment Officer
14 October 2020

Like everyone, the AUN Secretariat was hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. All our international operations ceased and we were restricted from entering our physical offices. But we have used that challenge as an opportunity to update our existing outdated practices as well as adopt new practices in a COVID-affected workspace. In that time, we have managed to hold countless productive meetings that have led to one international conference held online and four completed AUN-QA Programme Assessments conducted online with many more planned. In this article, we will share two of our building blocks to a constructive and happy working environment: etiquette during online meetings and respect for working hours.

Adhering to Zoom Etiquette

The key to productive online meetings, much like traditional meetings, is adhering to good professional etiquette during the meeting.

1. Be well-prepared. Any meeting where participants are prepared means that less time is wasted in explaining things that everyone should already understand. It also means that everyone is ready to receive and process information to contribute to a discussion that will lead to a path forward from the meeting.

2. Be on topic and to the point. Ensuring that the conversation never strays too far from the agenda can be difficult especially if good ideas start to pop up. But it pays to remain on topic and keep those great ideas in a notebook to be revisited when the occasion is right. Ultimately, less time spent deviating from the planned agenda means more time to discuss the most pertinent matter of the day.

3. Do not discuss your personal life. Having a healthy social life and developing good chemistry with your coworkers are excellent ideas to having a successful career. But that does not mean it is a good idea to start talking about your troubles with your mother-in-law during a meeting with your boss.

4. Be respectful. Discussions can get heated, especially if your coworkers are as invested as you are in the success of your project. This does not mean that you are allowed to start using colorful language during your important debate. Remain calm and speak clearly. This will not only help you be perceived as a calm voice of reason, it will also derail the discussion.

Respecting Working Hours

One challenge to working from home is that the line between work and home blurs. That is why it is so important to respect everyone’s private time. Not respecting this time can make everyone stressed and unproductive. Rest is just as important to being productive as actually working.