How to Text at Work & Avoid HR Nightmares

With remote work taking off, a lot of the lines between work and play have begun to blur. Consider the addition of mobile phones and apps, and some of us have struggled to draw appropriate boundaries between work and the rest of our lives.

Imagine this: It’s 6 PM on a Friday and you’re at happy hour with a few friends. All of a sudden, your phone starts ringing and it’s work…

I know. The thought that immediately crosses your mind is this one…



Turns out, the beauty of technology can easily be overshadowed by the newfound level of accessibility that comes with it. Sure, it’s amazing and a total blessing to FaceTime your family around the country. But the convenience of firing off a work message when it pops into your head can be disruptive to those trying to unplug and relax outside of work.

If you’re wondering what it looks like to balance professional communication standards on conventionally unprofessional channels, we have a few tips to help you text like a pro and keep it classy.


Timing Above All Else

If you’re opting to text your employees or candidates outside of work, be intentional about the hours in which you do it.

Think about: 

  • Time zones 
  • Working hours (9-5)
  • Working days (M-F)

When it comes to contacting coworkers or applicants outside of inherent work channels such as email, Slack, or Teams, try to connect with them during or as close to standard work hours as possible.

Bare minimally, don’t send texts for work during sleeping hours. Keep your texting window from after breakfast to before an average bedtime, say 8 PM-ish.


Keep it Simple

When using text as a means of communication, be thoughtful about making it easy for the recipient to respond. No need to fill a text message with unneeded information or overwhelm them with details that aren’t relevant.

If you’re texting for work, keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it straight to the point. You’ll want to communicate with clear, actionable language so the person receiving the text understands next steps.

Ask questions or give directions that require short and easy responses. Don’t expect your recipient to write you a novel spur-of-the-moment.


Stay Professional

Remember, when you’re communicating, especially in an HR function, everything you say can be used in court if the situation were to require it.

Avoid casual phrases, when in doubt. Lean on the side of formal; write with brevity and clarity so nothing can be misinterpreted. When possible, keep the conversation work-oriented. Avoid personal details and questions.

While it can seem polite to ask someone about their recent vacation or how their family is, leave these personal details for work meetings, emails, or longer forms of communication instead of dragging out a text with information not relevant to the current request.

Above all, remember that while texting may occur “off the clock,” it’s not off the record. Your reputation and job, along with the company’s reputation and legacy, could be impacted based on your actions. Move with integrity and long-term benefit in mind.

It is possible to maintain professional boundaries and use texting as a communication channel at work. When it comes to reaching out to remote employees, candidates, and other members of your team, remember to be thoughtful of timing, considerate of the content, and professional throughout.


Here at Grayscale, We Believe Texting Is a Powerful Channel to Incorporate in Your Recruiting Process

Like all new things, it takes time to learn how to implement it, and along that journey, you experience hiccups. Thankfully, with the help of these three tips, you can avoid most major snafus as you start implementing texting as a means of communication for your employees.

Due to the accessible nature of texting, your recruiters will likely see drastic shifts in candidate engagement, and texting has been known to help limit ghosting.