Best Practices for Instant Messaging at Work

Stay connected and courteous with these tips.

 Responding promptly is one of the best practices for instant messaging at work.

As many businesses transition to a hybrid remote work environment permanently, employees must also adjust to changes in corporate communication and connectivity.

In this post, we’ll discuss some best practices for instant messaging at work, so your team stays connected and on the same page.

Check your messages frequently

Once you start a project, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus on that task in front of you — and usually, that’s a valuable trait. However, taking a quick break every hour or so will ensure you’re not missing any important messages from colleagues while you’re diligently working on other projects.

You can set an alarm or reminder to check your messages and ensure nothing urgent has come up while you were “in the zone” working. To that end, when you’re working on something that requires focus, consider putting up an away message or some indication that you’re not actively checking messages at the moment but will check back soon.

Prompt responses

Instant messaging is a helpful tool for quick questions or check-ins with colleagues you collaborate with. While our inboxes may be piled high with unread emails, our instant messaging queue should not only be checked frequently, but we should be responding promptly. If the response is lengthy or the issue is best responded to in a phone call or an email, let the person know that you’ll be following up outside of the chat.

App consistency

Whether your business is just beginning to integrate instant messaging or your employees have been using it for a while, make sure everyone on your team is using the same software or application for instant messenger. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Chatwork are all popular options to consider. Gather insights from your employees about their particular needs and use an instant messaging platform that accommodates them.

Use thoughtful replies

If you’re particularly busy, it might be tempting to use a quick one-word “yes” or “no” answer when responding to an instant message, but this could convey a dismissive or perfunctory attitude. No need to craft a lengthy response to an uncomplicated inquiry, but make sure your response conveys all of the information the recipient will need.

Watch the clock

Take note of when you are sending work-related instant messages. If there’s a true emergency outside of work hours, then, by all means, get in touch with your colleagues however necessary. If it’s an issue that can wait until the next day, hold off on sending a message as your co-worker may receive it and feel they must respond immediately. In other words, do your best to respect the work-life balance.

By adhering to these best practices for instant messaging at work, you can ensure your team stays connected while respecting boundaries.

It can be challenging to navigate the rapidly changing work landscape, and we’re happy to help prepare your business for whatever the future holds!  Contact the EZ Office Products team today or request an account to browse our online office supplies store.