However, the over reliance on these communication tools begins to take a toll. With most communication conducted on these platforms, employees’ virtual presence and responsiveness begin to be judged. For example, Teams has a color coded presence status:
- Red indicating you’re busy/in a meeting
- Green: indicating your on your computer and free
- Yellow indicating your idle and not at your compture
- Gray you are offline and not logged in
It’s also quite common for employees to wait until their manager’s status turns yellow or gray before signing off for the day.
But why should you care?
Some of you patients are working from home. It’s not unreasonable to step out to run an errand, but many of them will fear the dreaded yellow status assigned to them.
Working parents will need to pick up their children from school and also fear the misperception of slacking. This leads to stress.
Advice to consider during sessions.
- Verbal Status Message: While presence colors are mostly systematically determined, advise your patient to leave a verbal status message to accompany the color. Even being as honest as, “I’m picking up my son from school. Will respond when I get back” is refreshingly honest and respected by managers
- Green does not equal Productivity: For those patients who are using this deceitfully to show that they are working well into the evening, remind them that the green bubble isn’t the path towards promotion. It’s delivering that lands promotions. They should spend their evening with their families, not distracted on their work laptop
- Leverage Color Bubbles in their favor: Virtual presence status is intended to help employees stay focused and not be disrupted when busy. Just because your patient is not in a meeting, doesn’t mean they should allow their status to be green. They should take advantage of the red-do not disturb status to get their work done
- Respect others' colors: Remind your patient that others also feel the need to show a green status as well. For those that aren’t green and it’s pass work hours, respect their non-work hours. Most messages can usually wait the next day