It’s half past nine in the morning: you have worked out, had breakfast and you are ready for work. You open your laptop and start in good spirits. Soon enough you have a pressing question about the presentation you will be giving this afternoon. You knock on the virtual door of the colleague who is involved in this, but does not respond to your chat message. You send your question to the rest of the team, but it remains silent…

Doubts increase, did you miss something?

Are they in a Teams meeting? That would be a bummer, because that can take hours and you don’t have time for that. While chatting, you knock on the door of a few colleagues. If you do not receive an answer to these questions, you cannot continue with your preparations.

Recognizable challenge right? How do you get hold of that one colleague that you know is available? Fortunately, there is a very simple solution for this: The traffic light method!

Three colors, three options. And everyone in your organization can see it. This prevents unnecessary frustration and unnecessary waiting. Is it as simple as that?

How does the traffic light method work?

Did you notice that your profile picture has a colored round dot in the top right corner of Teams? Well, these colors indicate your status and it syncs with your calendar. So Teams makes sure by default that your availability is visible to you and your colleagues. The same applies the other way around. Your colleagues also have a colored dot in the bottom of their profile picture. So if you chat or call a colleague in Teams, you will immediately see a green, orange or red dot.

These colors represent the following common situations.

Is your colleague on green? Go for it!

Is the dot green? Then this means that your colleague does not have any appointments at that time and is available for your question. Send a message via chat or click on video calling right away. This ensures fast and good accessibility, as if you were at the office.

Is your colleague on orange?

In this case your colleague is absent. Send a chat and ask if your colleague will call you back later. Does the answer to your question have hurry? Try a colleague who is green with a chat message or click directly on video calling.

Is your colleague on red?

Your colleague is busy, has an appointment or is in a Teams meeting. You can wait until your colleague jumps to green again. Or you can set up a notification, so that you get a notification as soon as your colleague goes back to green. Can’t wait? Try another colleague who is on green.

In short:

Green = Go!

Orange = When are you available?

Red = Really only in an emergency.

Have fun trying out and sharing the traffic light method with your colleagues. Be a Hero: stronger together!

Inspired and want to know more?

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