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Ethics in the Digital Workplace

Every workplace has a set of ethics and standards that employees are expected to follow and this is no different in the digital workspace.

Employers are responsible for implementing certain work ethics and standards within a company as well as a specific company culture. The impact of work ethics within the work environment has far-reaching effects on the well being and satisfaction of the employees.

Workplace ethics are an important and complex aspect of any work environment. As society becomes increasingly more aware of the ethical practices of various companies, it affects whether companies will receive consumer support, which in turn will affect their success as a company.

What are ethics and how do they relate to the digital workspace?

Ethics are a set of moral guidelines which contribute to a particular culture and ethos. Most ethics are influenced by societal norms, for instance, values such as integrity, fairness and respect often form the basis of strong ethics.

Ethics within a workspace are typically defined by company practices as well as common practices within the industry. Every company has to first define what it means to be ethical within their specific company before being able to enforce those ethics. Common ethics that companies often stipulate in employment contracts and enforce in the workplace include things such as honesty (that you don’t commit theft, aren’t deceitful or commit fraud, you don’t falsify information, etc.) These ethics are put in place to protect and uphold the rights of both the employees and the company.

In the digital world, a company’s online image is important. How they treat their employees will reflect on the attitude of their staff. A carefully cultivated culture and work ethic can make the difference between a company succeeding or failing as happy employees are often more productive ones.

“If ethics are poor at the top, that behaviour is copied down through the organization” - Robert Noyce

How do Ethics affect Remote Workers?

How ethics within a workplace affect remote workers varies greatly as this depends entirely on the ethics of the specific company itself.

Companies who have a very high ethical code will more often have employees with healthy ethics themselves. This can create a healthy and productive workspace and can result in happier employees with high job satisfaction levels.

Similarly, companies with very relaxed or unclear ethical codes tend to have employees of a similar disposition - often simply due to lack of ethical direction from their superiors. Working within these environments can be incredibly challenging and frustrating if the ethics have created an unhealthy company culture.

It’s always a good idea to discuss a company's ethics codes and practices during your interview as this will give you a clear idea of the type of company they are and whether or not you would be a good fit.

Ethics play a vital role in the workplace and becoming familiar with good ethical practices within your industry will be to your advantage.

Cultivating personal healthy work ethics is equally important if you want to become a successful remote worker. Things such as good time management, effective communication skills, consistent work quality, presentability (especially for online meetings with clients or co-workers) and a healthy work-life balance are some good ethics you can begin cultivating.

Good ethics = Happy remote workers.

Check out our online courses at Expand Digital Academy and become a happy remote worker: https://www.expand-digital-academy.com/courses

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