This morning I was wondering whether to ping someone who I emailed last week but from whom I had not heard back. So I spoke with Paco & Ale (Nico is in Strasbourg with his school) about appropriate response times for text messages, emails, Facebook messages and voicemails. Their answers:
- Text message: minutes to hours (depending on the topic).
- Emails: days.
- Facebook Messages: if online, minutes. if offline, the next day.
- Voicemails: days.
We spoke about the importance of being sensitive to these appropriate response times when using a specific communications mechanism, e.g., don't send an email if you need an answer within minutes. And also when reminding someone of a message to which they haven't responded. Ale asked if it was such as thing as responding to quickly. Could that be inappropriate? I said I didn't think so, although you want to be careful about establishing certain expectations that you might not want to always meet.
We spoke about giving people a heads up if you might take long to respond. For example, if you wont get to an email for a week or two it would be nice to send a brief email to the sender letting them know - unless of course it would take you just as long to send a proper response to the email...