Work and Communication in the Time of Coronavirus

Sent via email to my department at ActiveCampaign.

There are probably a billion blog posts about working and communicating effectively while remote. Unfortunately there are not many blog posts on working and communicating effectively during a pandemic and economic shutdown. I’m writing to lay out my expectations for the foreseeable future as clearly as possible.


Please default to asynchronous communication.

Set expectations as clearly as possible.

I’ve found that most communication doesn’t have to be RIGHT NOW REAL TIME. Look at this email! I wrote it earlier today and now you’re reading it. Before sending a message or scheduling a meeting take a minute to consider asynchronous communication. Other strategies include...

  • Write a document and invite commentary
  • Set deadlines for feedback (“I intend to do this 3pm Fri. Please speak up before!”)
  • Collect all possible questions up front

If you think synchronous communication is needed try to schedule it in advance and be crystal clear on the medium of communication. Would you like a Slack chat or a video conference? What do you want to discuss? What are the outcomes? Set explicit expectations wherever possible!

Finally, if something is URGENT please say so!


Our clients’ businesses depend on ActiveCampaign. Now more than ever we need to deliver correct quality software. If our clients are struggling, we're struggling. They're counting on us. They’re counting on you.

We must deliver software, but I’m not so foolish to believe nothing has changed around us. I ask that you do your best and deliver the appropriate level of intensity. “Your best” will be different for each of us. The appropriate level of intensity will vary depending on your work. I’m counting on you.

As far as businesses go ActiveCampaign is in the best possible position. We have millions in annual recurring revenue with millions more in venture capital. Our clients are diverse in every regard. No one industry, country, size, or shape dominates our customer base. Until you’re told otherwise we are continuing to hire. I know there’s a lot to worry about. Please don’t worry about your job.

Bullet Points in Case I Failed to Convey My Intended Message

  • Default to asynchronous communication!
  • Set expectations explicitly!
  • Say what you’re going to do and then do it.
  • Say what you want from others.
  • Please do your best to be productive, but don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t.
  • Our clients are depending on us!
  • ActiveCampaign is in the best position possible entering this economic freeze.