By Margaret Dsouza, Head HR, Flock as told to Entrepreneur Media
Team messengers like Flock, Slack and Microsoft Teams have changed the way employees communicate with each other at work. Decision making, brainstorming, and quick discussions can be completed, and time-sensitive issues can be resolved within minutes. Because of its efficiency and speed, team messengers have become an indispensable tool for communication and collaboration in real time. Nonetheless, professionals must be mindful of basic etiquette rules when using a team messenger in the office.
Listed below are a few points that should always be remembered, when using team messengers to avoid awkward situations with colleagues.
Don’t Bring up Irrelevant Topics: One of the pros of a team messenger is the accessibility of all team members. Hence, focusing on the topic of discussion and avoiding irrelevant topics are a must for every user. Don’t let irrelevant conversations escalate to major discussions, or wander into conversations irrelevant to the primary agenda.
Don’t Stay Silent: You are part of a channel/group for a reason, and the ongoing activities and discussions are a part of the job at hand. Therefore, one must avoid being a spectator and a mute listener. Be active, make your presence felt and contribute to the discussion.
Avoid Messaging at Unearthly Hours: Know when to ping your colleagues and the difference between urgent and important. Though a team messenger gives you the luxury of contacting a teammate at all times, knowing when to ask for help makes you thoughtful. Hence, try not to message at odd hours unless it’s extremely important and remember team messengers are for work and not for social interactions.
Be Wise with Your Correct Choice of Words: Conversation can be misleading if they happen in an informal environment and can lead one to use words which are not accepted in a working environment. Therefore, as an active participant in a team messenger, always be mindful of the words you choose to express happiness, disagreement, urgency and every other emotion.
Don’t Get Personal: Instant messages can get really lengthy as team messengers offer such an easy way to communicate. Also, conversations have a tendency to get intimate very quickly, because instant messaging can almost be like talking to a friend. Hence, avoid getting personal with your colleagues and be professional when expressing views and emotions to your teammates.