Worst part of working from home?

Coworkers who just leave a "hi" message when you're away and you have to reach out to them separately to ask them what's going on.

This isn't for casual daily greetings either. I've often ignored these "hello" messages only to find out that the sender had something urgent for me.

If you want to say something, why not leave it in the message itself? What's my immediate availability got to do with anything?

  • 11
    This was rampant in my old place. I just ignored those messages after a while. People then quickly got used to actually writing what they needed.
  • 2
    Well, just say "Hi" back, and if the colleagues are cool, they'll be able to quickly explain what they need; maybe it's easier to explain in a call than in writing. Some issues are like that. Sometimes, to me at least, a preview of a message with the beginning of an explanation of a problem might be more distracting than a mere "Hi". If, however, they spend 5 minutes typing once you respond, it's annoying indeed.
  • 7
    @kamen If I said "hi" back that happened every time - a 5 minute pause while they wrote what they actually wanted, and I couldn't concentrate on any work in the meantime.
    That was on a good day. On a bad day they'd ask how I was and want to engage in smalltalk for a bit before getting to the actual point.
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    Don't get me wrong, I defend WFH with my life but it needs a team of effective communicators.

    People like these are the reason corporates still argue for office work
  • 3
    Thing is, they don't even want to call me. It's often a very simple question.

    And even if you want to call me, why don't you drop a message like "Hey! I have something urgent to talk about. Do you have the time?"
  • 1
    @RexGalilae Yeah, that's fair.
  • 1
    We have a company messenger program, and using it is actually mandatory. I refuse that because I don't see any value in it. If there's tech stuff that needs details, send an email. If you need something urgent, try a phone call.
  • 3
    @Fast-Nop can they also send fax to your home cave?
  • 1
    @electrineer The point is that people usually don't call and prefer email because calling is more effort.

    The problem with a messenger is that is't just as much typing as email, but lacks formatting and shit, and it's just annoying during work.
  • 3
    Nah, you don't have to reach out to them.
    A simple hi is just an unintrusive way to start small talk.
    If it would be important, the message would come with a payload - usually a question or statement.

    So when you get a greeting and feel like socializing, greet back or start talking about the weather or esports right away.
    But if not, don't answer to avoid misleading the other side into thinking you would like to socialize while you actually don't.
  • 1
    @electrineer And btw., I've been using messengers (IRC) already before the WWW even existed - but not during work. I remember how I compiled ircII from tarball under HP-UX.
  • 1
    This isn't about small talk.

    My main problem is, people who have important stuff to say waste time by sending you open ended "hi" messages and waiting for you to respond. It achieves nothing.

    I noticed that the same people often drop an entire message when they want help urgently from me.

    I guess this is just a way for them to avoid work and pin it on me not being responsive instead
  • 1
    Hey, you can just reply with hi too. Then you responded and they are still forced to send a proper message.
  • 8
    Try pointing the offender to https://nohello.net
  • 1
    Wow I didn't know this existed. Guess there's a website for everything, eh?
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    @RexGalilae Yes, all until you reach the very end of the internet: http://endoftheinternet.com
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    My fav :

    "Hey, so i'm working on something and don't really now how to advance. This is a really quick question for you. Do you have liked 30 seconds for a call ?"

    BITCH, just write your question instead
  • 2
    Yeah, you can try not responding to "hello" over Slack and see if people adapt, like @AlmondSauce tried. I've seen this go one of three ways:

    - They adapt and get to the point from the start

    - They just keep doing what they are doing resistant to any adaptation

    - Worst case: They start complaining about you for not being at your desk all the time. They assume so because you don't respond

    All three actually occur, so if you try it this way be aware of some possible roadblocks.
  • 2
    @Maer Yeah, it's fair to say you need a certain amount of seniority to pull it off as well. I could get away with it easily since I was basically the lead dev in the company at the time. Had the intern tried that, probably wouldn't have had the same outcome.
  • 0
    Ik. It's that third possibility that I want to avoid
  • 1
    Send them some "don't ask to ask"

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