Async Communication Best Practices

Here’s a small list of some best practices when engaging in asynchronous communications with colleagues.


  • Let’s agree that we don’t need to blow smoke. We all wish each other the best. We all hope that any communication is finding each other well. We are all happy and grateful and have the best of intentions. Get to the point.
  • I’m not there. Assume I’m not there. Don’t assume I’m there. If you need my direct attention immediately, call me. This includes text, email, slack, discord, whatever. Even if the little green dot says I am there, I am not there.
    • If I need to get something done, I turn everything else off. The constant distractions of pings and emails is ruining my productivity. I will stick my head up several times a day to make sure I didn’t miss anything but if you are talking to me asynchronously, you should expect a possible 3-4 hour delay before I respond.


  • If you are about to send an email out to a huge group, use BCC. This will eliminate the reply-all garbage.
  • If you reply-all to a large group announcement with something paltry as “Great job” or “Congrats”, you are wasting everyone’s time.
    • And if you do this and you aren’t very high in the management hierarchy, you look like an asshole.
  • If you reply to ANY email with “Thanks” or “Got it”, stop it. It’s 2024. Email is pretty reliable. We know you got it. And we assume you are thankful.


  • Start using threads. If someone posts something and you have a response to it, reply to it in a thread. Do not hit the main channel with a specific reply to another’s post. Every time you do that, we all get notifications that something new is there when it’s not something new, it’s just your bullshit reply.
  • DMing anything like “Hey”, “Good Morning” to get the person’s “attention”. We assume you want to be nice and all. Get on with the ask. We don’t have all day. If you want to say “Good morning” or whatever other bullshit, that’s fine but do it in the same line as what you are DMing me for.
  • When posting, get it all out there. One big post. Don’t drip details in multiple posts or in a big self-talking thread.

Boss Comms

Do you manage people? Then don’t do these in async.

  • If you don’t hear from me, then everything is going great. No news is good news. You don’t need to check on me to see how I am doing.
  • Do not set up a meeting without context. If you send a calendar invite with title like “Check In” or “Catch Up” with no context of what you want to talk about, I assume I am about to get some bad news. Provide context – good or bad.
  • Sending “Hey got a minute?” on chat or slack or text – NO NO NO. When anyone reads this, they assume they are about to be laid off or in trouble. If you want to talk about something, say what that thing is – good or bad. ex. “Hey, got a minute? I have some questions about whatever and I need some context quickly before my next meeting where I have to speak to it” or something.
  • Don’t ask “how’s it going” when you want to talk about something specific. “How’s it going” is for discussion during our regular one-on-ones. If you ask “how’s it going”, it makes me think you are fishing or that you want me to confess some unknown bad news.