Here we talk about how we carry ourselves in the work environment in order to work effectively with others and to make a strong impression on others.
We try to be 5 minutes early for meetings.
If, for whatever reason, we will be late, we let the people in the meeting know in advance. We also provide them with a conservative estimate of how late we’ll be. If we think we’ll be 10 minutes late, we say 15. We provide the reason for being late without being asked and we always apologize for it because we respect the time of our colleagues and customers.
We reply to any mail within 24 hours, even if it is only to say that we have seen the mail and that we will send a more complete response later and we try to say in how long the said response can be expected.
We use WhatsApp texts and calls for more urgent communication, and we try to answer these as soon as possible, usually within the hour.
Internally we use Slack for communication, and we are available on Slack during business hours.
- Meeting administration
When meeting with Clients, we send calendar invites at least one day ahead of time. These invites contain all necessary practical information like where the meeting will be and a link if it is a remote meeting. The invite also includes a meeting Agenda. After the meeting we write up short meeting but effective minutes to share with the other attendees. These minutes should be reviewed at the start of the next meeting. At the end of a meeting, a quick recap should always be done of (a) decisions taken during the meeting and (b) tasks assigned: who has been assigned what tasks and when should these be completed. These two points are the most important to include in the minutes. Also, a final agenda point should always be “when is the next meeting” ?
- Attention to Detail
We get the basics of presenting ourselves right, even at a detail level. When corresponding with customers we don’t make spelling mistakes, things that ought to be aligned are aligned, attachments that should be attached are and our corporate identity is consistently presented.
- Healthy Email Habits
We don’t write lengthy mails. If there’s a lot to say about something, we have a call. This saves everybody time and clears the air much better. If we receive emails with multiple questions, we answer every question, not just the first one or the one that trigger us. We answer concisely and don’t bury the recipient under a wall of text. Where necessary we invite the user to ask for clarification. If there are two relatively unrelated things that we need to talk to someone about, we send two separate mails.
In meetings we take notes because we know we are human and prone to forgetfulness. We take notes with pen and paper because it is a very effective way to demonstrate that you consider the words of the speaker important.
When we are away from work we set up an auto-responder on our emails. These responses state the period during which we will be away from work, and provide a person (hopefully one who is at work) to contact for urgent matters.
- Email signatures
We use email signatures that provide at least our contact details including email address, phone number and website.
- Client meeting dress code
During meetings meetings with clients we dress smartly. This means no T-shirts or hoodies. Preferably buttoned shirts and neat jackets, jerseys or equivalent. During internal meetings you are more than welcome to wear whatever you feel comfortable with.
For our work we need to register profiles on many platforms: from your email account to github to Confluence. Always fill out your name, surname and other details neatly and add a professional profile picture. Here is a guide on how an appropriate profile picture looks.