Using Emails and Internet Wisely

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Working title: "Using emails and internet wisely"

Using emails and internet wiselyThe electronic age has revolutionized the way we do business. Emails and the internet are incredibly powerful tools for the office. They provide a fast, cheap and effective way for us to collect and distribute information, and to communicate with work colleagues and clients. However, just like a powerful car, these powerful electronic tools can be highly dangerous if they are used irresponsibly. Inappropriate use of emails and the internet can damage your company's reputation - as well as your own career.

Being professional at work involves many things, such as dressing appropriately, being punctual and treating your colleagues with respect. These things are fairly obvious to new graduates when they start their first job. When it comes to the use of emails and the internet, however, it is not obvious what is appropriate. The golden rule is that, when at work, emails and the internet should be treated as business tools, not as sources of fun and entertainment. Many graduates forget this lesson and make one or two 'e-mistakes' shortly after starting their job - which is an embarrassing first impression to make!

Here are some of the do's and don'ts when it comes to using emails and the internet at work.

More generally, make yourself aware of your company's policies on emails and the internet. If your company doesn't have written policies or guidelines, ask your manager, IT manager or HR manager to explain what type of behaviour is acceptable and not acceptable. When in doubt, ask yourself whether such behaviour would be expected from a person who is 100% professional in their approach to work.

This article was written by Sean Power (consultant to HRINC) and Sandra D’Amico (Managing Director of HRINC), Cambodia’s leading HR services firm and published in the Phnom Penh Post on April 2009.

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