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Bothering people over [communication tool]

I've worked remotely for a couple of years, and I still find myself learning things about the practice.

I recently suggested to a colleague that I didn't like to "bother" people by asking them questions over Slack.

I described how much easier it was when working in an office; I could look and see if people seemed busy, and ask them whatever I needed to if they didn't.

Knowing that my message would result in a notification put me off sending it. I didn't know what that person was doing. I wanted to avoid disturbing them. This led me to "saving up" questions that I wanted to ask people.

My colleague told me that other people's management of their own notifications wasn't my problem. And she was right.

I had been wasting my own time by making a decision about other people's. Even my suggestion that it's easier in an office isn't true; asking "have got a minute?" in person is a much bigger interruption.

Perhaps everyone else has managed to figure this out for themselves, but in case anyone hasn't: Your colleagues are adults. They can manage their own time and alerts.

Ask the question and get on with your day.

Top comments (2)

k4ml profile image
Kamal Mustafa

We have 15 minutes rule for this -

nimmo profile image

This post was less about "I'm stuck with X" and more about "Y is on my mind" tbh, although yes I agree that it's important not to just dive into a hole and get lost if you're actually stuck with something!