Respect the time of your remote working peers and don't say “Hello!”
Ever had a slack conversation go like this?
J: 12:20pm – Hello! B: 12:21pm – hi. B: 12:25pm – did you need something? J: 1:15pm – oh, right, what time is that meeting?
Ugh. You interrupted your workflow to respond to someone, and got back crickets until almost an hour later.
Your train of thought was disrupted. You probably hung around for another minute or two expecting a follow up. Finally, you flipped over to other work, frustrated, and spent far too much time trying to refocus.
As a long time remote worker, I've been there many times. Once I understood what was really the problem, the answer seemed so simple.
The root cause here is treating DMs as synchronous communication. Instead, remote workers and their teams need an async mindset. And that mindset starts with one simple change:
Don't say hello
That doesn't mean don't be friendly or casual. But it does mean when you message someone, make it a complete thought.
When the recipient does take the time to read it, they should have all the information they need to help you.
Here's how our original example could have gone:
J: 12:15pm – Hello! Do you remember what time that meeting is? B: 12:20pm – yup, 2pm PST. J: 1:15pm – perfect, thanks
The difference? All the needed context was present from the start. B was able to respond, and move on. No loose ends drawing at your attention. Everyone walked away more productive.
There's even a website for this idea, that makes it a real movement right? Join the No Hello movement, and help everyone be more productive.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the article subscribe via RSS feed or enter your email in the box below 👇