Reaching out privately to a colleague can feel weird because making the active decision to initiate a conversation usually creates the expectation that you want something.
So explain why you're ...
Reaching out and offering your help to a new colleague, for example, is a great way to start a conversation.
It can feel weird, but in a remote setup, this is the only way these chats will happe...
A great way to start a conversation with a teammate is to respond privately to comments made in public channels.
Explain that you just want to say hello.
This is usually enough to remove the weirdness of just saying "hi," especially if you frame it using a little humor.
Sometimes people will respond immediately. But sometimes they won't, and that's okay.
Everyone has things to do, and that means they will not be responding to every message right away.
A status is a good way to let people know that you're doing focused work or that you're otherwise unable to respond.
Don't reach out to chat when someone is busy.
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