🔔 Don’t worry about others being notified

I have a strong and unpopular opinion: if I want to send you an email at 3am, Slack you at 4am and WhatsApp at 5am, I will. I don’t care if your phone is on mute or not, it is your job to manage notifications properly. When you sleep you should be on Plane or Do Not Disturb mode.

The same way, in Asana, if I see you as a collaborator on a task you might not be interested in, I won’t refrain myself from commenting and working. Up to you to leave the task. The same thing goes if you get notified of new tasks being added to a project, or if you stayed on tasks in a template you created. It is up to you to adjust and tweak your notifications preferences.

This is an important point because I have seen users stop in their track before publishing a comment, seeing who would be notified. This is not acceptable!

Who’s with me on this? :muscle:

PS: dev ops and people dealing with infrastructure might hate me for this as they are usually required to be on call by the phone just in case :sweat_smile:

PS2: @Justine_D makes great additional points Scheduled/Delayed Comments - #9 by Justine_D

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Oh yes I agree 100% @Bastien_Siebman

Having seen some comments on the forum I had to laugh a few times as I was like “WHAATTT?” :rofl:
haha cause I did not even believe somebody would stop posting a comment on Asana as they are scared to disturb other people.

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I also agree. Everyone should take some time and curate your notifications.

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@Justine_D made some awesome points on the topic here Scheduled/Delayed Comments - #9 by Justine_D

@Bastien_Siebman I totally agree with you. However sometimes I take the time to customize the notification settings for specific team members when setting up a new project. For example, reducing or muting some notifications (e.g. about new tasks being added) for specific members where I think they don’t need to be «overloaded» with notifications in a specific projects. They can still change it the other way round if they want too. But in terms of timing of adding comments or assigning tasks I fully agree.

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I wholeheartedly agree with this, @Bastien_Siebman and appreciate you being brave enough to shout it out, LOL.

I work on things during weekends quite a lot, because it’s the only time I’m not being constantly interrupted by email, slack, asana, etc, and can actually start and finish projects I’m working on, but I have gotten very negative feedback from others at my organization who don’t appreciate receiving emails or slacks or @mentions on google docs from me over the weekend, and have even been told that working on the weekend gives the appearance of having Time Management Issues, or that perhaps I’m not really working all that hard during the week, neither of which is accurate. :roll_eyes:

So, I now try to focus weekend work on responding to emails from people outside my organization, working on things that don’t include or involve my colleagues, or using the slack and gmail tools to schedule emails for Monday mornings, but our accounts have limits, and I’m constantly crashing into them.

Any suggestions for gentle responses I can give to this feedback so I can keep working in peace outside of typical work hours on whatever I like, instead of being shamed into compliance? I’ve been told it’s not my business to tell others how to manage their own notifications…

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WOW thanks for the testimonial. I don’t really have tips, never encountered that situation… I believe someone should be free to work less on a Monday but a bit on Sunday if they want/need…

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Omg haha this is actually crazy in my opinion. I am used working with remote teams and there it is super common to work on weekends also.
And I completely get your point that sometimes working a few hours on the weekend, instead of during the week, is really great as things can be pushed through without interruption.

I always tell the team if they don‘t want to be bothered on weekends just don‘t check your inbox or skype or Asana. I mean why complain when in the end it was them that opened their inbox or Asana and then saw the message from you. At least I have a clear opinion on this and would rather say they should not blame you for working but rather look into their own set-up and ask themselves why they opened their inbox on a weekend when they don‘t want to work.

And if they still want to check their inbox for something else well then they should set up a filter for emails from you to organize things.

Same for Slack or Skype or other means of communication. If they have it installed on their phone = their problem and they should fix their settings (so no notifications are sent and they only see the messages when signed in to the app) or get a separate phone for work stuff.
I mean if you use your work email for your work skype and slack then why would somebody be bothered about getting messages when they are logged off anyway on the weekend?

If you ask me they are probably just annoyed when they come to work on Monday with a lot of action steps and emails to attend to :joy:

Not sure what position you are in but I recommend raising this point to the manager/s and CEO if needed so they tell the team members.
To me it is common sense that everybody should sort their own notifications and if they don‘t work on weekends well just don‘t open your inbox then.
That others kind of blame you for working on weekends is just not right.

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omg, thank you, Andrea!! This is so helpful, and you’re completely right about people not being too thrilled to come into more work on Mondays, LOL. In fact, what I’ve been told is that people don’t appreciate feeling like I’m taking advantage of the weekend to load up other peoples’ To-Do lists. :roll_eyes: And unfortunately, this was my manager giving me feedback on behalf of others, but she also agrees with the philosophy that we should not be pinging people in any form or fashion on weekends, and also frowns on weekend work, generally. But I get so much DONE!!! And it makes such a difference keeping my sanity marginally intact during the week!!! :joy:

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Reminds me of the good old debate around remote work and people having to come to the office (so managers can make sure they work) :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh my, ok if the manager is also saying this then that makes the whole thing trickier. Haha never heard a manager say don’t work. I mean who wouldn’t be happy about getting more work done.
I mean I would understand if somebody calls them on the weekend for work-related things but sending emails to their work email or updating Asana so they get notified in their Asana for work I just don’t get it. hahah
I feel this might be a long road then to try and convince them :frowning: if even the manager has the same opinion.

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Haha yeah thankfully a lot of great timetracking tools exist where you can track screenshots, urls of sites they visit and even location (if needed) but it gets trickier when people refuse to use it, yet still want to work remotely…

It’ s unfortunate that your manager doesn’t understand or support your desire to work on weekends. I do that a lot too because it’s so productive to have uninterrupted time when I know no one is going to have a “quick question” on Slack that will take me down a rabbit hole :slight_smile: Personally, I MUCH prefer to do my groceries at 2:00 PM on a Monday when I can be in & out in a jiffy than on a weekend when the stores are packed - and I’m happy to work a few hours on a Saturday so that I have that flexibility.

Maybe you could bring up the idea of core hours? With this system, the team needs to be available for specific hours during the workday (ex: 10-3) for meetings or to collaborate with other team members, but then they can work the rest of their hours whenever they want - including weekends. Team members can then truly have the flexibility they need to manage their workload, without feeling bad about notifications going out on a weekend.

Alternatively, you could book blocks of time in your calendar during the “regular” work hours and turn off notifications so that you can work uninterrupted - and ask your manager to support your need for this quiet time.

Good luck with everything!

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For the most part, I agree. But as others have noted, there are steps that can be taken to be mindful of someone’s working hours. With Slack and email, specifically, I try to schedule so that the person will get notified during their working hours.

This is not only a way to treat my co-workers with consideration, it also decreases the likelihood a message will get buried.

But ultimately, you are responsible for managing your notifications and how you allow them to disrupt your life.

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I agree with you in principle Bastien. It’s up to others to manage what they get notified by or not. I, however, will never send messages at that time… occasionally (very occasionally) I work outside of normal work hours, but I will never send messages from those hours so as to not encourage others to believe I’m reachable.
Which leads me to my popular-yet-unpopular opinion: It’s become acceptable to reach people outside of work hours, which I am fundamentally against.
SLT should be reachable at all times - it’s what they’ve signed on for and are compensated for. Those in an emergency position, i.e. I.T. are similar. But for the vast majority of employees the delineation of work and home life needs to be much more clear than it currently is.
Even though I agree with your unpopular opinion, it furthers the mindset that work is everything and intrudes upon all hours of your life.

Thanks, Victoria! Yes - since we are spread out over 4 time zones, we definitely do have agreed-upon core hours, which is helpful, and I agree that 2pm Monday is the perfect time to grocery shop! She is supportive of me blocking time on my calendar for heads-down work, but I still find it difficult to turn my notifications off during that time since we always seem to have fire drills and I don’t want to be unreachable.
I have started at least turning off my slack notifications during meetings—baby steps, LOL!
Appreciate your encouragement on this touchy subject!!

Appreciate your response, Craig. I think this is exactly why my manager is so opposed to weekend work—she wants us all to have time away from work so we don’t burn out and end up despising our jobs. Remote work has definitely made the lines between home/off time and work/on time even blurrier than they were before!

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Hi, Nicole. I totally agree about the scheduled messages—such a great tool. Does your company have unlimited scheduled messages for slack and email? Our slack and gmail have limits on the number of scheduled messages we can send in a period of time, so I always hit those ceilings before I get through my weekend work list…

That’s a good question. I actually don’t know, but we’re on enterprise accounts for both, so I would think so. We have people in lots of different time zones, but for the most part we’re consistent with work days. I find myself using scheduling when I know someone is especially busy, out of town or the “ping” might otherwise be disruptive. It’s so kind of you to schedule for weekdays even though you work weekends!

I would say…it depends.

I agree that managing one’s notifications should be a generally accepted best practice. However, another practice that I think is more important, is for teams to establish their own cultural norms and expectations around communication. For example, my team expects that non-urgent messages will be sent via email, Asana, or Slack and will be read on the receiver’s time table (most of us handle in batch and respond <24 hours). Whereas, chat messages (WhatsApp, Zoom, Hangouts) are typically reserved for topics that require a more immediate response because they have a greater propensity to cause an interruption for the receiver. I know this is what works for our team because we’ve had discussions about it and this is what we have mutually agreed upon.

People are unique and have different preferences on just about everything, so it’s probably not a good idea to assume everyone’s work style is the same as yours. Even a small irritation can erode the team fabric over time. I guess, my point is that the cost of being wrong about an assumption like this can be quite high, but taking a moment to ask the question is free! (just don’t ask it on what’s up at 3am :grinning:)

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