One of our most talented coworkers writes excellent code but often takes days to reply to emails. How can I ask him to improve his communication?

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If he's turning out excellent code, he's probably just in "the zone". The downside of that is everything else usually gets left behind - emails, Slack, eating, etc. Having been there in my younger days, when you're "on", you shut the world out and you want to get what's in your head into code quickly.

You need to connect with this person and understand their work cycles. In many cases you may just need to do calls rather than email, and do those calls at convenient times. I'm not saying bend to their every whim. But to get the most out of their creative moments, you need to do a bit of work too.


Shift to other channels? Teams/slack/etc which are more messenger type & quick to get back? Or even quick calls.


I personally prefer email to Slack. I work with multiple teams and am subscribed to many channels. I often miss important messages and find it hard to go back through the history to review older discussions. If it is really important, call me.


I stopped reading emails more than once a day.

My assumption is that if it's important they will find me in chat

As for your programmer. There was another posting on here from a programmer that basically said

"My boss keeps emailing me during the day and that is breaking my programming rhythm"

I'd say find ways to communicate with your developer that doesn't screw up concentration


Maybe match these two up and have them talk through this here. Even if they are not exactly paired. Where is a 2 way pipe when you need one!


Schedule a morning standup/checkin with them. With all of the different channels of communications (email, Slack, IM, etc.) I know I sometimes don't see questions directed at me for hours, or even days, when I am busy. A few minute call first thing in the morning isn't disruptive and is a chance to discuss issues, get status, etc.

That's a tough one. I would just be open and frank with him, maybe give him access to some lessons?

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