New Rules for the age of connectivity

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

{safe_alt_text}

In a world where business no longer happens during set hours and handheld mobile devices make most people instantly reachable, email correspondence seems to defy all conventions — a free-for-all of nonstop communication.

But some etiquette still exists, no matter how nebulous, says Jack Drexler, associate professor at the College of Business at Oregon State University. “The issue is always company specific,” he says. “Each should have its own norms, rules and expectations.”

For example, companies that want to convey a strong image of customer service might require that employees respond to certain types of emails within a specific time frame. But most companies never address the issue, allowing employees to use their own good judgment.

At the Empire Group, a Portland interactive agency specializing in web development, CEO Jonathon Hensley says he and his eight employees follow a loose 24-hour rule.

“It’s an unspoken window of time for getting back to the average, pressing email,” he says. “Not expecting an instantaneous response shows that a social etiquette still exists.”

In many cases, his own availability depends on the client, Hensley says. Especially when he’s out of the office.

“If I’m working with a client, they don’t want to hear that I’m not reachable,” he says. “Vacation is more about allowing myself to be on call and not sitting behind my desk.”

Daniel Wakefield Pasley, a self-employed writer and art director who lives in Portland, agrees that availability has become the norm, and he has no qualms about emailing or texting any vacationing colleague if money is on the line.

For him, the social etiquette lies with the person on the receiving end. “If you don’t want to be contacted,” he says “turn off your phone.”

And while the “off” button may send a clear, albeit temporary message, ultimately it’s worth defining the gray areas surrounding issues of availability and response times for both you and your employees.                           

LUCY BURNINGHAM


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

Knight Cancer Challenge No Biotech Dream

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.


Read more...

Make the Case

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

Correction: Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS