- Check your voice mail daily and call back within 24 hours.
- If you cannot check the voice mail, speak a friendly message that you have limited access.
- Speak slowly and clearly when leaving messages for others.
- Say exactly and clearly what you need until when.
- If you leave your number, leave it complete with the country code at the beginning and end of the message.
- Check your mails daily and answer the important mails within 24 hours at the latest.
- If you do not have the possibility to check mails, use the “Out of Office” message (without limited Access).
- When you send a “cc” message, you assume that the “cc” receiver only considers it information and does not react.
- Keep in mind that e-mail messages can be very short and narrow.
- Be careful in your choice of words.
- Do not write an email if you are angry, but wait a day and rephrase it.
- Do not use e-mails to discuss personal topics or send sensitive information.
- Use a subject line that describes the content.
- FYI means that the email is not urgent, but contains something important that you should read.
- URGENT FYI means that you should read the information immediately.
- Call if a topic goes back and forth more than three times.
- Always check your email for spelling.
- Send appointments via the calendar function and not via e-mail.
- Log in when you come into the office.
- Use the “Logout” or “Busy” function if you are not available.
- Switch to vibration mode during meetings.
- Only accept the call if it is very urgent.
- Use this medium if it is acceptable to both sides.
Audio and video conferencing
- All participants welcome those present when they join the conference.
- Say your name before communicating content.
- Use the “Silent” button when someone is not speaking.
- Avoid side calls during a conference.
- Ask for repetition if you do not hear or understand something.
- As an invitee to the conference, you should be there earlier to keep the technology stable until everyone else joins in, so as not to waste any time.
Organization of meetings
- Be on time.
- Use all relevant time zones for your meetings and rotate them.
- Agree on a time specification to which all are aligned (e.g. CET).
- Take a longer break every 60 – 90 minutes.
- Let others finish.
- Let the moderator do his job and respond to his requests.
- The agenda should be sent at least 48 hours before the meeting. The protocol is the more or less completed agenda.
- Slow down your speech rate and give time for questions if you have language problems.
- Do not discuss long documents with the whole group on the phone. 1:1 meeting, and the content will be forwarded to all.
- Keep to agreed times when documents must be passed on.
- Observe confidentiality rules.
- Review the collaboration process and implement regular reviews.
Decisions and problem solving
- Use team interests and goals as a basis for decisions and problem solutions.
- Keep local interests and those of the entire team in balance.
- If advice is needed, first see if there is an expert on the subject in the team before going outside to obtain information.
- Try to act by consensus.
- If this is not possible for good reasons, other decision-making paths (expert decisions, voting, etc.) should also be considered.
- Solve conflicts according to your guidelines.
- Do not try to resolve conflicts via e-mail. Call the person or speak directly to them. Always speak with the affected team members first, never with superiors or other team members first.
- Use a known conflict resolution process.
- Conflicts are part of everyday life, don’t dramatize them.
- Be attentive in order to recognize conflicts very early, because they become visible in virtual teams rather late. Do not wait until tension builds up.