How To Chat On WhatsApp With Your Boss 📲

By Siew Ching

Because hey doesn’t cut it…

Notice how your office conversations have moved more to WhatsApp than emails? Your clients messaging you to arrange for meetings, your colleagues sending over a document for your review, and then there is your boss asking for an update over WhatsApp.

With workplace communication moving to WhatsApp, some form of professional communication needs to come into place. But what exactly is professional when someone is messaging you on your personal number and sometimes during your personal time?

This question was asked on Reddit where a guy shared a screenshot of his WhatsApp conversation with his boss who told him off for using “hey”. In the screenshot, the Reddit sharer said he replied using “Hey, no, not yet” and was properly schooled by his boss who wrote “Please don’t use the word ‘hey’. It’s offensive for me. If you can’t remember my name, simply use ‘hi’.”

That didn’t sit well with the sharer and well, let’s just say the conversation took on a whole different turn. You can read all about it here.

Like it or not, with almost everyone on WhatsApp, it will become a popular medium of communication at work. And with any workplace communication, there are dos and don’ts, especially when you are chatting with your boss. Here are the rules:

#1 Respect personal time
Like how you want others to respect your personal time, your boss is no different. When office hours have ended, so should your WhatsApp messages to him. Unless your boss tells you to contact him no matter what time in the event of an urgent project.

#2 Maintain professional communication
Sure it’s still WhatsApp and you use it to forward random memes and gifs to your friends but don’t expect to do the same with your boss. Address him properly (in our opinion, “hey” isn’t a good idea) and don’t use text lingo (iykyk). Think of it as composing an email but keep it brief too! Nobody wants to keep on scrolling to read your message.

#3 Limit it to urgent matters that need your boss’s immediate attention
If you’re not comfortable using WhatsApp to communicate with your boss, use it sparingly. Keep it to urgent matters where you simply can’t wait for an email and need a reply ASAP.

#4 Emojis and GIFs? No no
A crying emoji because your boss messaged to say the client needs something ASAP? Yah, not a good idea. Emojis and GIFs should always be avoided so they aren’t misinterpreted or appear as disrespectful. Keep them for your friends.

#5 Check twice, thrice before hitting send!
You’d do the same for emails so why not for WhatsApp messages? Check for content, spelling, grammar – you know the drill. Most importantly, check to make sure you’re sending it to the right person. Sure, there’s always the delete for everyone function but the last thing you want is for your boss to read a message you sent your colleague about your boss breathing down your neck before you had the chance to delete it!

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash.

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