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Communication

We have staff working different schedules in different time zones across the world, so by default, we communicate using asynchronous methods rather than phone calls and meetings. We don’t expect immediate responses and want people to stay focused.

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Exception for New People

New team members, especially technical and design staff, will always need a little extra help getting up to speed on Cantilever methodologies, and should have more synchronous time as they do.

We prefer consistent response over immediate response. Doing our best work requires focused blocks of time to oneself, engaging meetings with clients, family time, and time to breathe and reflect.

That said, we do run into emergencies from time to time, and need the phone to handle them. You should expect calls and texts rarely, but they are important and you should answer them as quickly as possible.

Principles

✅ Do…

  • Default to async methods of communication (Slack and Asana), using meetings for specific purposes.
  • Answer all inbound messages within 24 business hours
    • Note that this does not mean you need to actually solve the problem or do the work being discussed. Just a simple note like “OK, got it, will do” is fine.
  • On the rare occasion that something needs an immediate answer, text or call
  • Set your notification preferences so you only receive notifications that are relevant to you
    • Note: Most software supports the notion of “Watching” or “Subscribing” to a task or thread. If you are merely “subscribed”, you are not on the hook for seeing every single comment. If you are tagged with the at-symbol on any thread or task, you are expected to see and reply to that comment appropriately.
  • Go through all of your inboxes at least once a day and make sure you see every notification
  • Keep a seven day view of your calendar at any given time.
  • When you take time off, ensure the team (and clients you work with regularly) know.

🚫 Don’t…

  • Keep push notifications on, generally.
  • Follow the “Latest and Loudest” thing instead of the most important thing
  • Answer communication during your time off or vacation. Everyone has the right to be Off Duty.

Specific Guidance

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Video Calls at Cantilever
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Communicating with Ops
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Client Communication Guidelines
Sharing Personal Information
Cantilever Style Guide