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

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

Linda Baker
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

Tweeting Portland's State of the City address

News
Friday, January 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.08.19 PMBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

For those who were working, here are a few highlights of Charlie Hales' State of the City address.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


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