Ethics in Electronic Communication

By the end of this training module, you will be able to identify three key characteristics of ethical electronic communication in the workplace.

Where does electronic communication fit into the corporate world?

With much of the communication in modern organizations being electronic in some capacity,  in fact 71% of all primary communication of an organization, effective and appropriate use of online communication tools deserves some spotlight! 

Talking the talk

E-mail Communication

According to various studies, e-mail may be the most widely used form of electronic communication. 

Pro's of e-mail in the workplace:

  • Quickly written and edited 
  • Easily saved, moved around, and forwarded 

Con's to e-mail in the workplace: 

  • Full inbox's slowing down the rate of response
  • Messages lost to "junk" folder redirect 

Instant Messaging & Office Text

Instant Messaging is increasingly prevalent, especially in larger organizations. A pop-up message prompt can appear to allow employees to chat in real time with others within the organization. 

Pro's to Instant Messaging:

  • Quick chat in real-time to quickly tend to conversations (ideal for quick questions that require short, immediate replies
  • Easily accessible and user friendly 

Con's to Instant Messaging: 

  • Lends to confusion and misunderstandings due to its casual nature
  • Can lead to lost or forgotten information, as information typically disappears when dialogue boxes close 

Company Cell Phones

Some organizations require employee's in certain roles to be "always connected", and provide a company cell phone. With access to e-mail communications, phone calls, and sometimes internet access and applications that pertain to their work like multi-user  calendars or notes. 

Pro's to Company Cell Phones

  • For those individual's whose offices are not desk spaces in a building they attend on a regular basis, most to all of that employee's crucial information can be accessed wherever they may be
  • Personalized to employee so their frequent contacts and corresponding notes or information are stored in one place 

Con's to Company Cell Phones 

  • Requires constant attention 
  • More difficult to monitor from a management perspective (for productivity and usage)

Video Conferencing Tools

With the ever-changing workforce including global competition and partnership, travelling and work from home or make shift offices out of hotel conference centres are an increasing trend. With internet access, video conferencing and instant communications across time zones, the sky's the limit! 

Pro's to Video Conferencing Tools

  • Employees across different continents or time zones can conduct business virtually face-to-face
  • A more personal form of communication in live time to clarify key concepts and conversations between users 

Con's to Video Conferencing Tools

  • Requires strong internet connection or susceptible to glitches in technology slowing communications 
  • Face-to-face conferencing is more timely and formal, which can be too time consuming for some tasks 

Key characteristics of ethical electronic communications in the workplace

  • Use professional language; refrain from explicit language, vulgarity
  • Remain on task; save e-mail communication and instant messaging for work related tasks and conversation
  • Respect confidentiality; be cautious of the privacy of the organization and all parties involved in communication

Email communication in the workplace can be effective when information needs to reach numerous people, through e-mail's forwarding feature

  • True
  • False

Instant Messaging in the workplace is designed for socializing and making plans with co-workers:

  • True
  • False

Company cell phones can make electronic communications in the workplace quick and efficient by having different resources in one place at the employee's fingertips

  • True
  • False

Video conferencing in corporate settings should be used to get recipe recommendations from international partners

  • True
  • False

Talk the talk!