Instant, Instant Messaging Success – thinks to keep in mind when chatting
Instant messaging is becoming a major piece of a business’s communication solution for obvious reasons. It offers a fast and efficient way to exchange information within your team and those you work with outside your organization. IM is one of several tools that have made their way from the social realm to take hold in the business world. Naturally, this can raise questions as proper etiquette when using IM in the workplace. The following some of Microsoft’s etiquette guidelines – some obvious, others not so much – when using Lync’s IM, presence and messaging features.
Keep it casual
• IM should be used as a fast way to exchange information, so keep it that way. Don’t slow down the pace of an IM session by focusing on perfect spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
• Use emoticons to add some flare and give context to your instant messages
• No need for excessive conversation enders like “bye” and “ttyl” – one is usually enough to signal the end of an IM session
Be mindful of others’ status information – and your own
• Check a person’s presence status before you initiate an IM
• If a contact is busy, in a call, or in a conference call, don’t expect an immediate reply, or even one at all. Try sending an email instead.
• Don’t IM if presence shows “Do Not Disturb,” unless it’s an absolute emergency.
• Keep your own status updated to let others know if and when you’re available to respond to instant messages. If you’re away for an extended period of time, post a note indicating your whereabouts and the best way to reach you.
Don’t take it personal
• Do not take offense if your IM goes unanswered – the person may have stepped away, become busy with a task, or may have their alerts or speakers muted. If you don’t get a response, email is a great alternative.
• IM responses are by nature brief, so don’t read too much into a “short” or seemingly terse response.
Using IM and presence effectively in the workplace is simple if you employ a little common sense and keep things simple. We welcome your feedback, so please tell us what you think works and what doesn’t when it comes to instant messaging at work.