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Experts reveals the working from home etiquette you should follow

The ultimate guide to lockdown etiquette: Royal experts reveal the polite way to gracefully navigate everything from Houseparty chats to hogging the WiFi

  • Royal experts have revealed the etiquette people should be following to respect their neighbours
  •  Etiquette expert William Hanson warned against downloading large files on shared wifi networks, and avoiding phone calls in communal spaces
  •  Meanwhile Grant Harrold, who was Prince Charles’ royal butler between 2005 and 2011, highlighted the importance of keeping music to a minimum and offering to help out vulnerable neighbours
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Royal experts have revealed the etiquette people should be following to respect their neighbours, as the nation adapts to working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Etiquette expert William Hanson warned against downloading large files on shared wifi networks, and avoiding phone calls in communal spaces. 

Meanwhile Grant Harrold, who was Prince Charles’ royal butler between 2005 and 2011, and still lives on his Gloucestershire estate in Highgrove, highlighted the importance of keeping music to a minimum and offering to help out vulnerable neighbours.

Royal experts  William Hanson and Grant Harrold revealed their top etiquette tips for working from home – including keeping phone conversations private, keeping the music down and helping out neighbours(stock image)

Speaking to FEMAIL, William said: ‘Just because we may now all be working from the comfort of our own homes, perhaps more relaxed than when at the office, it does not mean to say our standards and courtesy towards others can be relaxed. If anything, it should be heightened.’

‘Domestic wifi is not usually as strong as a corporate connection so be respectful of downloading or uploading big files when there may be others nearby who need the internet for work.’

‘Unless you are the only person around, avoid taking work phone or videos calls in shared living space. This is especially true for video calls where you need to make sure your camera won’t catch an unsuspecting flatmate or your partner walking into the back of shot.’

‘We are all having to quickly adapt to the new normal and innocent transgressions should be met with levity and understanding, allowing all parties to learn as they go.’

Grant Harrold’s top 10 ten etiquette rules for working from home amid the lockdown

1. Keep music to a reasonable volume

We can all get slightly carried away with our music tastes and the volume level, but bear in mind as our neighbours are mostly likely home, they may not be so appreciative of you being the neighbourhood DJ so let’s keep the levels to a minimum.

2. Keep your phone discussions private

Grant Harrold, who was Prince Charles’ royal butler between 2005 and 2011, highlighted the importance of keeping music to a minimum

We can forget when on the phone our voice volumes get slightly louder, especially if you are in the garden. The neighbourhood may not wish to know your spreadsheet updates, therefore, bear in mind that the walls have ears!

3. Avoid arguments with family members

Spending more time around our loved one can become somewhat tricky as fallouts are likely. Again the neighbours will not appreciate listening to what sounds like a scene from Eastenders, so try to keep tempers low and lets all act like UN Peacekeepers.

4. Be mindful of the WiFi

When you have a few members of the household all using the wifi, boxes may not be able to cope and you will find that your devices struggle. Therefore, perhaps have allocated times for usage so everyone has an opportunity to use the wifi at some point in the day.

5. Have family meals

This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the family, so why not all sit down for family meals and let’s do something that has been lost in the mists of time… conversations! let’s be adventurous and have a go at talking to our loved ones during a meal.

Etiquette expert William Hanson warned against downloading large files on shared wifi networks, and avoiding phone calls in communal spaces

6. Keep your distance from others

Social distancing is something we all need to be doing at this moment in time. This is still vital with others outside your household. Do not worry about coming across rude as we are all aware this is a priority to get through and beat this virus.

7. Respect each other’s space

When you are spending time in a confined space with your family you can feel like there is no escape. Try to respect other family members space and realise we all need time to ourselves and we should not be offended if a loved one takes themself out of the family gathering from time to time.

8. Offer to assist neighbours

This is the time to be mindful and able to assist your neighbours while remembering social distancing. You can phone, email, text or write to a neighbour to check if they are ok and if they will require any assistance. Bear in mind if you write to a neighbour they will need to wash their hands after reading the note and perhaps remind them of this in the note.

9. Wash down and clean anything you use

We all touch things in the home without realising from the doors, cupboards, washing machines etc. You may wish to consider washing these items down as you use them to ensure nothing can be passed on to someone else especially if you think you have the virus.

10. Have family time

This is an opportunity to have time with our loved ones and those we care about. In this time of uncertainty, we have seen how we can lose our loved ones without warning and we don’t get a goodbye, therefore let’s realise how precious life is and how lucky we have to have family and show them how much they mean to you.

These rules apply to everyone no matter of your background, religion, race, sex etc, even the Royal family will have to adhere to these rules and guidelines to keep everyone safe including themselves and remember, Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives!

The ultimate guide to Houseparty etiquette: William Hanson reveals the dos and don’ts of virtual gatherings, from what to wear to NEVER invading someone else’s group chat

NEVER GATECRASH SOMEONE ELSE’S CHAT

I would never join someone else’s conversation on Houseparty without being invited in. This is virtual gatecrashing. 

It’s not acceptable in the real, coronavirus-free world and it’s not acceptable now. There is a highly strong chance that it will be awkward for everyone else. 

If you are the host of a scheduled party, lock the room to prevent the awkwardness.

DON’T WEAR YOUR PYJAMAS 

It’s important to make some sort of effort in these weird times. 

No need to put on a dinner jacket or ball gown, but brush your hair, shave, and look moderately presentable before making yourself virtually visible. 

It’s only acceptable to wear nightwear if the call is in the early hours of the morning or after 9pm at night.

NEVER GATECRASH SOMEONE ELSE’S CHAT

I would never join someone else’s conversation on Houseparty without being invited in. This is virtual gatecrashing. 

It’s not acceptable in the real, coronavirus-free world and it’s not acceptable now. There is a highly strong chance that it will be awkward for everyone else. 

If you are the host of a scheduled party, lock the room to prevent the awkwardness.

DON’T WEAR YOUR PYJAMAS 

It’s important to make some sort of effort in these weird times. 

No need to put on a dinner jacket or ball gown, but brush your hair, shave, and look moderately presentable before making yourself virtually visible. 

It’s only acceptable to wear nightwear if the call is in the early hours of the morning or after 9pm at night.

DON’T TEXT OTHER PEOPLE 

No one is busy at the moment. There should be no excuse not to give your whole attention to one thing at one time. 

Aside from being rude, doing two activities at once is only going to mean you have more time to fill later on. 

Also turn off your television during the chat. As good as the technology is, it can be very distracting and can impair other participants from hearing you. 

If you want to keep the news on, for example, switch it to mute.

AVOID CHEWING ON CAMERA 

Watching someone eat is never pretty, which is one of the reasons why at dinners guests are encouraged to talk sideways, so you don’t see someone masticating head-on. 

Virtual dinner parties are another matter, and there is no way to not eat on camera, but don’t have the camera too close if so. 

You can move closer to it during after-dinner coffee, once all chewing is over.

If you are enjoying munchettes while meeting for drinks, try to keep your mouth closed and take small bites. 

If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, use a hand to cover your mouth until you’ve swallowed. 

NOMINATE A HOST 

A designated host – perhaps the person who instigated the call – is a good idea as they will act as the conductor to the symphony that is your houseparty call. 

Having someone nominated as a host for virtual dinners is particularly important. 

They can decide when everyone is finished and ready for the next course, and can help fuel the conversation.

DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE 

For a virtual dinner you must stay until everyone has finished eating, at least – unless you start feeling unwell or have a domestic incident. 

For group chats it is cowardly to disappear without saying goodbye. 

Again, you wouldn’t just walk away from a conversation at a real party, so the same rule applies in the digital world.

If you need to go to the bathroom, there’s no need to announce where you are going – most of us can guess. 

A simple ‘please excuse me’ will do. If you can’t turn off your camera and mic, while remaining in the chat, then set the phone on a surface, camera facing down, and make sure you shut the door when going about your business so no noise is picked up by the mic.

For virtual dinners, only freshen up in between courses – ideally only after the main course, before the pudding, as with normal dinners.

KEEP IT TO FIVE OR SIX PEOPLE 

For group chats five or six is a nice number, or else it gets competitive and can be a headache rather than a laugh. 

For dinners, six or eight people is optimal. But that is six to eight people in total, not six to eight devices connected – with one device having two people on the connection.

 

 

 

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