Communication and Etiquette

In situations where more and more people may be working remotely, consider extra steps you may need to take to maintain good communication and respectful interactions between colleagues.

  • Talk to your manager: Make sure your manager and colleagues know what you are working on. If you’re not having regular in-person interactions, it’s easy to duplicate efforts.
  • Agree on common tools and a virtual space: Follow a standard practices within your team to maintain communication.
    • Your manager will provide guidance so everyone knows how the team plans to stay connected and updated.
    • Create Microsoft Teams collaboration groups as needed. Common tools are listed on this site.
  • Be predictable: Work regular hours. Let your manager and team know about variances so key contacts know when you are available versus when you are out sick or taking vacation time. 
  • Use Auto Response: Consider an automated response on your email such as: “Thank you for your patience if my response is delayed. I am working remotely to promote a healthy work environment and will respond as soon as possible."
  • Be respectful: Technology makes it easy to reach out to cell phones via a call or text at any time of day. In some cases, there may be legitimate reasons to communicate quickly. However, be sure to respect boundaries; not every message or issue is urgent.
    • It’s challenging for people working in non-traditional settings, be patient if you do not get a response to messages right away.
    • If you have something that doesn’t need a response quickly let the other person know that, too!
    • Learning to work outside the office is challenging, so avoid breaking coworkers’ concentration unless it is necessary.
  • Forward your phone: Make it easier for coworkers to reach you by forwarding your university phone number to your mobile device or home phone.