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

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...

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...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


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...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


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