Career Tips

How to Follow Up Without Being Annoying

Date Posted: 08/19/2019

Every workplace and every job abroad has its own set of challenges and struggles. There are the deadlines; the challenge of working with foreigners na hindi natin makasundo; avoiding burnout; and the list goes on.

There’s also the dreaded struggle of having to follow-up co-workers from different nationalities and colleagues when needed. Paano kung hindi nagre-reply? Paano kung urgent na?

As much as it’s annoying to follow-up for something at work, this is a regular struggle that one has to deal with, whether its a job requirement, a payment or other matter. Of course, we don’t want the process of following up to be a cause of conflict, so sometimes it gets confusing on how to do it.

The general rule of following-up? : Wag mo awayin kung pwede mo naman kausapin ng maayos. 

Send positive vibes

Using words like “a gentle reminder” or “just wanted to know the status” are some buffers for following up without sounding rude or putting too much pressure, tension, or weight in your request. If you’re calling them, remain friendly but clear and firm that the other person helps you meet your deadline. For example at the end of the phone call, you could reiterate the reason why and when you need the thing you’re following upon.

Find the balance between light and firm 

Don’t fight with the person (‘wag war agad!) but don’t sound so carefree as if the deadline doesn’t matter or isn’t important or urgent. For instance, if you’re following up on a payroll differential or backpay for yourself, tell them that you need the money for your daily expenses ( or whatever reason you have).

Pace your follow-ups

Depending on the urgency of the requirement, also be patient on waiting for the person to reply. Don’t follow-up every 30 minutes, especially if the person replied the first time on the status of the project/ requirement/ due.

Ask them if they need any assistance

In some cases, the person you are chasing up might really be having trouble addressing what you’re following-up on. For example, a delayed payment might be because of a management issue. Sometimes, also, the process becomes faster if you also do your part in getting the job done. Of course, this depends on your requirements. Bottom line is that if you can help solve the root of the delay, things will be resolved faster without any fuss.

Don’t Follow-up on weekends or holidays

…because no one wants to be bothered on holidays! If it’s really urgent, then maybe you can say something like, “Hi __________, So sorry to bother you on a weekend, but I would just like to know the status of my payment (or whatever requirement) that was due last week.”

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If the person isn’t responding or making an effort to fix the problem then maybe you need to re-strategize how to get results. We hope these guidelines help you deal with the challenge of following up at work na hindi nakakainis and getting the desired result you want.

Also, remember not to let the process stress you out. You are not the one at fault, so don’t let it affect your mood for the day.

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