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Use of IM Chat Status Feature as a Remote Worker

As remote work is becoming the standard in the workforce, seasoned and new employees must establish norms of communications to maximize productivity and collaboration efforts. With the rise of instant messaging (IM) platforms, professionals now have access to a range of tools to enhance their productivity and streamline collaboration. One such feature that often goes underutilized is the IM chat status feature.

In this article, we will explore how remote workers can leverage the IM chat status feature to their advantage, enabling efficient communication, enhancing focus, and promoting collaboration. 

Benefits & Strategies of IM Status Usage

In a remote work setup, where face-to-face interactions are limited, the IM chat status feature plays a crucial role in conveying your availability and work priorities to colleagues.

For example, imagine you are working on a critical project that requires input from multiple teams. By setting your status to “Working on Project X – Need Input from Team A,” you quickly catch the attention of Team A members, who can promptly provide the necessary information, ensuring seamless progress.

By utilizing this feature effectively, you can provide real-time updates and minimize miscommunication. It enables you to inform others about your preferred mode of communication, ensuring that messages reach you through the most suitable channel. Additionally, it serves as a proactive way to manage expectations by indicating when you may not be available for immediate responses. 

  • When you are online and active, set your status to indicate this.
  • When you are away and unable to respond, be sure to adjust your status.
  • Set the status message to communicate your current work priorities, deadlines, or even your availability for impromptu discussions. 
  • Customize your status messages to inform others about your preferred mode of communication (e.g., email, chat, video call) or provide updates on your current task. 
laptop computer indicating instant messaging statuses as Active or Do Not Disturb

Remote work can come with various distractions, making it challenging to maintain focus and productivity.

For example, let’s say you have an important deadline approaching and need uninterrupted time to complete a task. Setting your status to “Do Not Disturb – Working on Deadline” alerts your colleagues that you are engrossed in your work and should only be interrupted for urgent matters, allowing you to focus without distractions. 

By leveraging the IM chat status feature, you can signal your need for uninterrupted work time. Colleagues will be aware of your unavailability during those periods and are more likely to respect your dedicated focus time. Setting your status to “Do Not Disturb” or “Busy” helps create boundaries and reduce interruptions, allowing you to accomplish tasks more efficiently. 

  • Set your status to “Do Not Disturb” or “Busy” when you need uninterrupted time for deep work or important tasks.
  • Set  your status to “In a Meeting” or customize your status (if your platform allows this feature) to indicate when you are active, but unavailable for an immediate response.
remote worker listing herself as "active"

Collaboration is vital for remote teams, and the IM chat status feature can serve as a catalyst for effective teamwork.

For example, imagine you want to encourage spontaneous discussions and quick problem-solving sessions. By using a status message like “Open for Collaboration – Feel Free to Chat,” you signal to your teammates that you are available for impromptu discussions, enhancing real-time communication and facilitating rapid decision-making.

By using status messages that indicate your openness to collaboration, you can encourage colleagues to reach out for discussions, brainstorming sessions, or feedback. Moreover, mentioning specific projects or teams in your status can attract the attention of relevant individuals who can contribute valuable insights. This feature streamlines the process of finding collaborators, fostering a collaborative environment even in a remote setting. 

  • Use the IM chat status feature to indicate your availability for collaboration, such as “Open for Collaboration” or “Available for Brainstorming.” 
  • Collaborative status messages like “Working on Project X – Need Input from Team A” can attract the attention of relevant team members, expediting the exchange of ideas and feedback. 
instant messaging statuses as Active, In a Meeting, Out to Lunch, and offline

Final Thoughts

As remote work continues to thrive, utilizing every available tool to enhance productivity and collaboration is essential. The IM chat status feature can be a powerful asset in your remote work arsenal. The IM chat status feature allows remote workers to:

  • Indicate their availability, providing clarity to colleagues and minimizing interruptions. 
  • Communicate your focus periods to colleagues, signaling that you are engaged in a task and should not be interrupted unless it’s urgent. 
  • Encourage colleagues to respect each other’s focus time, fostering a culture of uninterrupted work and increased productivity. 
  • Enable team members to quickly check the chat status of colleagues to identify potential collaborators or find the right person to address their queries. 

By effectively utilizing this feature to communicate availability, promote focus, and facilitate collaboration, remote workers can enhance their work efficiency and create a more cohesive and productive virtual work environment. Be sure to implement strategies that meet your organization’s culture and goals for communicating. Consider ways that you and your remote team can take advantage of the IM chat status feature  and unlock its potential for remote work success. 

Learn more about communication strategies to enhance your professionalism when working remotely through out Remote Professional Certification. This track provides strategies to help you communicate and engage with others effectively so you can go remote and work!