Michaela Culková

Work Correspondence Rules

It’s hard to imagine a weekday today without notifications from work chats – and it doesn’t matter if you are sitting in the office or delivering orders by bike. How to communicate in messengers at work, what is definitely not worth doing, and can you be fired because of a chat message?

How to organize work correspondence?

If you are a manager or are responsible for some particular area, the organization of business correspondence is most likely your task. The first thing to think about is safety. If the staff of the company is large, and data may be discussed in work correspondence, the disclosure of which entails serious consequences, it is worth developing your own corporate messenger. It is desirable that it be available only on work computers or employees’ devices, and dismissed employees should immediately lose access to the messenger. You need to take care of encryption and protection against hacking.

If you don’t have your own messenger, you can use special services for work correspondence like Slack or create work chats in regular messengers like Telegram or WhatsApp.

Tips for organizing correspondence in work chats

Separate chats

General chat can be used for mass mailings and notifications, and for each department should be yours. It makes sense to create separate chats not only for functions, but also for projects. For informal communication, it is better to have a general chatter. Each work chat should have a direct supervisor, moderation of the correspondence is also his responsibility.

Separate working hours and non-working hours

Employees should be able not to read the working hours correspondence in free time. During the working day, the employee can be obliged to be online in the chat, but at the end of it he should be able to turn off notifications.

Record important information

The most important information must be recorded – in private messages or by e-mail. In this way, decisions made and tasks set will not be lost in the general flow of information.

Rules of conduct in chats

Working correspondence, even if the company has adopted an informal style of communication, still remains working. Here both general rules of etiquette operate – politeness, respect for interlocutors, etiquette phrases, and specific “network” rules:

– mark the person you are addressing in the chat, as a rule, it is enough to put the @ sign before the name (nickname);

– quote when answering or create dialog threads – so answers to specific questions will not get lost in the general message flow;

– do not split the message into a dozen separate phrases;

– if the answer takes time, inform the interlocutor about it, tell me what you need to think about, and name the approximate time when you will return with a response;

– explain links or attachments – write a few words about what this link or document is;

– do not send voice messages, unless you are answering an urgent question while driving;

– do not get carried away with emoticons, emoji and stickers;

– it is advisable to put a real and current photo on the profile photo, not to use nicknames, especially if in the company more than ten employees and not everyone knows each other personally;

– never write to a work chat, being drunk;

– do not swear;

– do not conduct personal correspondence in work chats and do not give personal details.

Can they be fired because of a message in a work chat?

The Labor Code does not regulate correspondence in work chats, but often companies regulate the style and peculiarities of correspondence by local legal acts. The rules of working correspondence in messengers can be enshrined in the charter, in orders, in job duties.

With things to go: how to understand that you are being fired illegally?

You cannot read personal correspondence without warning, but you can get access to workers. It is possible to dismiss an employee for inappropriate behavior in a work chat only if his employment contract specifies the procedure for such dismissal, and the fact of violation of the established rules is officially recorded.

Illustrations: Georgy Vishnevsky

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