I recently got talking to a colleague about how people prefer to work and how they prefer to be contacted. It’s obvious in an office – if Bob isn’t there, then he’s not around, but when some of the team is remote, some are hybrid working, then it’s a lot harder.
There are three things I’ve found are really useful to know when trying to reach someone, and I’ve written this up in a simple page stored on our internal wiki;
- What’s your baseline – where do you live and when are you usually in the office.
- What are your usual working hours – how accurate is your calendar for non-meetings? do you have fixed meetings that happen every week, or a school run that you typically do? Do you need to be away from your desk at certain times for religious reasons?
- What’s the best way to contact you – if you’ve got a choice of tools (like Slack Hangouts or Google Meet) which would you rather use, and why. Is it best to drop in a 15 minute appointment, or just call you?
Once you’ve got these three items, in something everyone can access, add it to your directory profile, bio on slack, your email signature (for internal emails) and so on.
From here to the end of the post is a mildly sanitised version of my internally posted profile. I hope it’s useful to you!
I am based in the UK, using the Europe/London time zone. I am remote based with very infrequent visits to the London office.
Typical Working Hours Patterns
I work from Monday to Friday, normally starting at X and finishing at X. During school term times, I will be out of the office between 3:00PM and 3:45PM to do school drop-off and pick ups. On Monday to Thursday, I am in a stand-up from X until Y. I will typically take my lunch break between X and Y. On Friday I have a weekly one-to-one which starts at X and finishes at Y. I will then take lunch until 1:00PM.
During school holidays, the start and end times will need to be a bit more flexible, and drop-off and pick-up slots will vary based on day-to-day activities.
I will keep my calendar up-to-date accordingly.
I prefer being contacted by Slack mention or DM, however, I will often follow-up with a request for a DM chat or call, especially if I have been typing a lot during the day, or am trying to resolve an issue which I expect will require a lot of interaction.
I am happy to use Google Meetings, Slack Huddles, Microsoft Teams or Amazon Chime, all of which I have tested and work on my computer. I personally prefer to use Microsoft Teams because the presenter can allow participants to interact with the presenter’s screen or Slack Huddles because that allows participants to draw on the presenters screen, and because I can see more of your screen by default.