Employee Experience

How to responsibly manage your work communications

3 Mins read

As a modern professional, the majority of your day is likely spent at work. Whether you attend a physical office location or work remotely, the struggle to manage your work communications effectively and responsibly is present. Particularly for those working remotely, it can be difficult to set boundaries between work and home life.

Knowing that your desk is nearby can tempt many into logging back on after hours to respond to the occasional message, but this isn’t good for our health. Not only will it impact your mental health, but looking at a screen for extended periods of time can take a toll on your physical health too. Fortunately, we’ve put together a guide to responsibly managing your work communications. This guide promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Be honest

Be open, clear and honest when communicating. Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s perfectly normal to need to attend appointments or run a quick errand during the working day. It’s much better to be honest and let your colleagues know if you’ll be heading out, as they’ll know when to expect a response from you and can plan their day accordingly. It also means you can relax rather than feeling the need to check your phone every few minutes to see if you missed anything.

work communication 2

Stick to working hours

When the working day is over, don’t be tempted to check any work communication channels. Of course there will be exceptions, such as if you’re on call. However, for the majority of workers, there should be no need to check in once you clock out. To help you stick to this, try using “do not disturb” on your device. Most modern digital devices have this feature built-in, but if not, you can always download an app.

“Do not disturb” is a mode that blocks certain notifications during designated times, such as your work emails after 5pm. It can be customised to let notifications through under certain circumstances if it truly is urgent, so you can be sure you won’t miss anything crucial.

Make use of statuses

Most online work communications channels will have a status feature, allowing you to inform colleagues if you’re unavailable/in a meeting. However, it also has other uses too. For instance, setting yourself as “busy” or “focusing” during specific hours of the day can prove beneficial, enabling you to accomplish work without interruptions.

Similarly, this can be a helpful tool to inform colleagues when you’ll be away from your desk. Rather than messaging people individually to let them know about an appointment, setting a status with the times that you’ll be unavailable can be much more convenient. It also ensures that anyone needing to contact you will be aware, even if they’re outside of your usual circle.

Designate methods depending on the level of urgency

Receiving a barrage of messages throughout the day can be distracting, particularly when you’re trying to focus on a task. But disabling notifications may not be an option for some people. In this case, it can be helpful to assign different methods of communication depending on the level of urgency.

For instance, you could determine that messages ought to reach you solely in case of urgent matters requiring attention, or in the event of alterations to the day’s schedule. On the other hand, emails may serve the purpose of conveying information that you can peruse at your convenience, instead of blending them all together.

Implementing boundaries

Work is only a part of our lives, and it’s important that our habits reflect that. To be productive and successful in our jobs, we need time to relax and focus on other responsibilities as well. Otherwise, trying to balance the two simultaneously can quickly become overwhelming, and could even lead to feelings of burnout.
Instead, make sure you take advantage of your time off. Whether this means engaging in a hobby, visiting friends or even just relaxing at home, all of these activities can help to rejuvenate your mind ready for the next working day. By following the advice in this guide, you’ll be one step closer to setting healthy boundaries between your work and home life.

Further Reading

‘Loud quitting’: The new resignation trend
Reducing information overload in your company
Pay Transparency: Why is it important

1 posts

About author
Martha Edwards is a freelance writer with 4 years of experience living as a digital nomad who enjoys sharing her advice with others.
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