no
hello

please don't say just hello in chat

Imagine calling someone on the phone, going hello! then putting them on hold... 🤦‍♀️

❌ Don't do this

Keith's Slack avatar Keith 2:15 PM
hi
Tim's Slack avatar Tim 2:19 PM
...?
Keith's Slack avatar Keith 2:20 PM
what time was taht thing again?
Tim's Slack avatar Tim 2:20 PM
oh - 3:30 mate

Note that Keith could have got his answer minutes sooner, and needn't have kept Tim waiting. In fact, Tim could have started thinking about the question right away!

People who do this are generally trying to be polite by not jumping right into the request, like one would in person or on the phone - and that's great! But it's 2020 and chat is neither of those things. For most people, typing is much slower than talking. So despite best intentions, you're actually just making the other person wait for you to phrase your question, which is lost productivity (and kinda annoying).

The same goes for:

  • "Hello, are you around?"
  • "hi sophie - quick question."
  • "You got a sec?"
  • "yt?"
  • "ping"
  • etc.

Just ask the question! 😫

✅ Instead try this

Dawn's Slack avatar Dawn 2:15 PM
Hiya! What time was that thing?
Tim's Slack avatar Tim 2:15 PM
hey, 3:30
Dawn's Slack avatar Dawn 2:15 PM
Ta - seeya then!
Tim's Slack avatar Tim 2:16 PM
👌 np

If you feel it's a bit brusque to simply say "Hi" and ask the question, you can still preface your message with as many pleasantries as you see fit.

For example:

  • "hey man, what's up? also, any idea when that thing's due?"
  • "Hi there! Hope you're well. I'm after the latest deck, when you get a sec :)"
  • "hey, if you're not busy, could you update those NFRs?"
  • etc.

It may seem trivial, but asking your question before getting that initial salutatory reply also allows for asynchronous communication. If the other party is away, and you leave before they come back, they can still answer your question, instead of just staring at a "Hello" and wondering what they missed.

When done right - everyone's happy! 🎉