Remote-First Institute
1 year ago

What ways have you found useful in communicating to others when you are offline or need to focus on a task?

Iwo Szapar
1 year ago

Slack Statuses & sometimes if it's a longer period of time, calendar event

How about you @(Loading...) @(Loading...) @(Loading...)? :)

Maaria Tiensivu
1 year ago

Blocked out calendar and/or creating a clear expectation that nothing is synchronous, unless otherwise decided. (Assuming that everything is asynchronous, apart from scheduled meetings)

Valentina Thörner
1 year ago

I also do a mix of those two:

1) Slack status updates + snoozed notifications

2) My calendar is visible for internal people, so they can see whom I'm meeting and what I am working on. So when I am not available, I block that out in the calendar as well (and if it's sensitive/personal, I just write `busy`

3) I purposefully take time to respond when I see something is not easy so people get used to the idea that my main job is not answering Slack messages

4) I've experimented with an email PS that explains that I only check emails on certain days or times ;)

Lavinia Iosub
1 year ago

Async by default with clear expectations on response time. I time block for deep work as well as for "Inbox, Slack & Asana" - literally marked like that in my calendar, which is visible to all internal and recurring external collaborators.

Here's how we communicate it via our culture deck:

"As a rule of thumb, wherever you are working from, you are generally expected to log into the company communication channels (Slack and email) a few times each day (unless you are on vacation or any other kind of time off, of course) and reserve the rest of the day for focused work.

We have these “response time” guidelines to ensure effective communication:

For team members working in the same or similar time zones (0 to 3 hours difference)

Maximum 4 hours to respond to Slack messages.

Maximum 24 hours to respond to emails, Asana, Google Doc comments.

For team members working in significantly different time zones (3+ hours difference)

Maximum 12 hours to respond to Slack messages.

Maximum 36 hours to respond to emails, Asana, Google Doc comments

If providing a response for your colleagues will take longer, please make sure to inform them about that and keep them updated on when you expect to follow up on their request/question."

We have a "red button" - which for most of us is a phone call, in case something is truly urgent.

Rachel Davis
1 year ago

I use Slack statuses and also add Deep work time on my calendar as the "Out of Office" function which declines meetings automatically with a note.

Remote-First Institute
1 year ago

Great points around setting the expectations whether it’s with an email signature or as company-wide cultural agreements Valentina and Lavinia.

Rachel, such a good idea to use the OOO to automate the response!

Rafał Ferber
1 year ago

I have automated my mac - when i am running MS Word, Excell or something that indicates deep work - my computer and phone goes in to do not disturb mode. My colleagues and coworkers can see my calendar - when i have blocked deep work sesions.

Leon van der Laan
1 year ago

I advise my clients mostly to have team agreements when they are online and offline. And offline means not pinging each other etc. This works for 80% of the people the best while keeping the team in the best alignment cycle. I rarely have seen team members falling so far out of these agreements with their preferred deep work times. Works well.

Sophia Bazile
1 year ago

So many good ideas I haven't tried here. I think I'll try the email signature, automation and OOO next

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