My sabbatical starts soon and before it starts, I have to make sure I have reasonable expectations and policies to handle my email and my engagement on Slack with my colleagues. I’ve had a few suggestions here and there, but I haven’t really finalized anything. Currently, these two tools are used mostly as follows:
Currently, I use email mostly for communication outside my business. In particular, I use it for notifications of various sorts (e.g. LinkedIn messages, admin system messages, etc.), hearing from vendors and partners (e.g. newsletters, technical announcements), arranging logistics such as meetings with clients or partners, occasionally for sending proposals (although mostly this is done by other people than me now), and that’s about it.
Slack is huge for our business. I have seven private groups, twenty-five public groups (about half really active), and lots of direct messages too. I’m “on” constantly and usually reply in minutes to anything relevant. Sometimes I go longer. Current uses of Slack are around all sorts of information-sharing, decision-making, polling, arguing, concerns, FYIs, social things, etc. As a dis-located group, with only occasional in-person meetings, Slack covers a lot of ground for us!
So, what would you recommend? How should I get prepared to handle email and Slack during my year-long sabbatical?
In Other News
Next week I have brief interviews with the two professors at Western in whose classes I will be starting in September. I’m looking forward to meeting them and discussing my concerns and abilities for starting back in school in a challenging field such as mathematics.