Instant messaging is a great place to ask questions regarding meetings, projects, deadlines, or personal agendas, such as dinner plans. However, because instant messaging is a digital medium, certain things can be taken the wrong way or fallen through the cracks if someone isn’t completely clear. This is especially the case when conveying a casual tone that may not be completely understood by the other person. A good example of this is sarcasm or wittiness.
To ask questions via instant messaging, especially when it comes to the workplace, be sure to ask what is needed in a clear and concise manner. Even if you and the coworker are friends, certain questions may not be meant the way they are written. Be sure to review your instant messages before sending them,especially if they are to a boss or manager.
Try to keep questions direct and to the point. Oftentimes, users will leave their instant messenger on even though they are working on another project. Getting to your point quickly will ensure that you can also receive a fast answer. Additionally, people appreciate that you respect their time enough to not always make small talk via instant messaging while they are attempting to finish up projects of their own.