Home Back Issues April 2008 New Rules for the age of connectivity

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

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


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