Many companies these days use Slack or another work chat application to communicate more efficiently and spend less time writing emails. Whether you currently work for a company that uses Slack in place of email, or are about to start a new job and are not sure what the company’s communication tools are, it’s always a good rule of thumb to be cautious about how you behave in front of coworkers both in person and in a digital chat room.
Though most people are used to the fast ways we communicate through texting and chats, learning what’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a digital workspace can be tricky to navigate.
Before you become known as the coworker who drives everyone crazy on Slack, consider avoiding these eight words or sayings.
1. “Bro” or “dude”
Chatting with your coworkers on a work chat can seem harmless, but you are a professional now and, regardless of how laid-back your work office is, you should always address your coworkers by their first names. Referring to someone as “bro” or “dude” gives off major college vibes, and even if you are fresh out of college, you don’t want your coworkers to continually think of you as the unpolished graduate.
2. “That’s not my job”
If a boss, manager, or coworker asks you to do something on your work chat and it’s not something you typically do for them, you should either politely decline, or if you have the time to spare, help them out. It’s never a good idea to respond by saying it’s “not your job” to do something, especially on a work chat where tone can be hard to interpret.
3. “Like” and “literally”
Most people struggle to avoid using these words when speaking and what’s worse than hearing someone say these words at the beginning and end of all their sentences? Reading it on a work chat or in an email. Avoid these filler words.
4. “I’m bored”
The history of your chat can always come back to haunt you and the last thing you’d want to have your manager see is your chats about how boring your job is, or how not busy you are at work. Beware of leaving a digital trail of your disinterest in your job.
5. “I’m feeling . . . “
Using Slack to have a significant conversation is not the best course of action. Work chats should be used for action items and professional discussions; any emotional conversations you need to have with a manager or coworker should happen in person.
6. “Maybe we can . . . “
Using tentative language has no place in a work chat. Lean in. The point of using Slack is to get answers quickly, so don’t leave the door open for a lot of back and forth. Instead, be assertive in what you’re asking or answering. Give a firm yes if you can do it, or a no if you can’t. Don’t waste time; Slack and other communication apps are supposed to make collaborating easier!
7. “No worries”
Again, tone can often be hard to read in an email and saying, “no worries” can be read as passive aggressive, or too short and laid-back. Instead of writing something of as “no worries,” be more direct and only apologize if you truly are sorry for something.
In general, you should avoid cursing at the office. The last thing you want is to be known as the coworker who is always dropping the f-bomb. Even if you don’t curse out loud in the office, it might be viewed as disrespectful by some coworkers, especially anyone who works above you. Moreover, cursing sets the tone for the chat and if you’re always cursing, you’re creating the volatile tone in the chat.