How do I give notice from my remote job?
October 20, 2016 1:09 PM   Subscribe

I've decided to accept a job offer and leave a job that I had become dissatisfied with, yay! But now I need to tell my manager and my teammates that I'm leaving and I'm not sure how to do that because I'm a remote worker. Special snowflake details within.

For the past few years, I've worked for a company remotely. The job was entirely remote and we communicated over chat or email very nearly exclusively. But about six months ago, the company was acquired and the manager I report to was switched from someone in the smaller, acquired company to the larger, acquiring company. That manager works in an office that I've visited twice (it's about 2 hours away), but my work is still remote, with most of my work communication happening over chat and email. I still work closely with the team that made up the smaller, acquired company.

Unfortunately, communication with my new manager isn't particularly good and he does not think very highly of my work (though my teammates—including my previous manager—routinely say good things about my work). We chat rarely and my email to my current manager often goes unanswered. I need to give notice to him (either today or tomorrow), but I'm not sure what the best way to do that is. For anything else, I'd probably start a chat (assuming he's online) or send an email (if he wasn't, more typical), but since I have met him in person, should I try calling him or scheduling a visit to the office tomorrow to deliver the news in person? What's the right thing to do here, in terms of etiquette? I will likely need this person to confirm my employment to my new employer, since the acquiring company doesn't have any formal HR contact. I don't want to needlessly offend him. To slightly complicate matters, I'm American, but I'm working in the UK, so I'm not entirely sure how the etiquette translates.

Because of the aforementioned communications problems, I'm also not certain that my departure will be well-communicated to the team that I work with on a day-to-day basis. I'd like to send the team an email to announce my departure and to thank them for being a great team to work with. When is it OK to tell my teammates about my departure?

(Anonymous because I don't want this question linked to my easily-identifiable profile.)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Call your manager on the telephone, that way you know they are there, and you can have a proper back and forth conversation. In person would be good too, but you are kind of far, and a remote worker, so that is up to you.

Chat or email would not be appropriate unless you have no other options.

After you have talked with your manager on the phone or in person, i would send a followup email and cc HR, so its on the record in case your manager doesn't do their part.
posted by TheAdamist at 1:12 PM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

I work (and have managed) a lot of virtual/remote colleagues. In our environment, it would be totally reasonable to send a meeting invitation for a one-on-one or touchbase and do it over the phone. I do not think you need to go into the office for this if you don't do that normally. I would have an email teed up to send at the beginning of the call so that you can give your notice verbally and then say that your written notice is coming via email.

In terms of telling the other folks on your team, I would give it at least a day after you tell your manager. I'd hope that once they submit things to HR they would send out an announcement to your team (that's what folks do at my workplace). If they don't, once you've given your notice to your manager and have a last day, I'd feel OK about telling folks.
posted by machine at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2016

I just did this. I'm in one city, and my boss is in another city a thousand miles away. I called her on the phone to give notice and then sent an email as my official letter. I notified my teammates after that.
posted by smich at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Phone call or Skype with your manager. Just be honest and nice and direct. Don't talk to your team without coordinating with your boss first, even if your boss is a psycho asshole and even if you're BFF's with people on your team -- just keep it civil and professional.

Quitting remotely isn't too bad. I did it a few months back. (And many many years ago, got fired over the phone once!)
posted by so fucking future at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2016

I've given notice remotely and requested a meeting with my boss. After the discussion, I sent on a formal notice of resignation via email.

My boss at the time was a little difficult to catch as well but I made it clear that the matter was time sensitive and I needed to discuss it directly rather than email.
posted by countrymod at 1:57 PM on October 20, 2016

I gave notice remotely. Timing was very tight so I said "Hey, I need to talk to you before EOB - it won't take long but it's very important." He called, we talked, I sent a formal email to him and our department head and they got the balls rolling from a paperwork perspective.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:18 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Do you have any company owned equipment?
posted by Bruce H. at 2:50 PM on October 20, 2016

I have quit remote jobs and have had people I managed quit remote jobs. What you do is you chat or email your manager and tell them you need to talk that day. If they are smart, they will know what's up, or at least suspect. Then you call them at the agreed-upon time (video is best if you do video calls at your work, but voice is fine if that's normal).

This is what I've done and had people do with me and it's totally fine.

If your boss does not respond by the end of the day, chat them one more time and then send an email - make sure to offer to talk over the phone if they have any questions.
posted by lunasol at 6:00 PM on October 20, 2016

I recently left an old job as a remote employee. To add to the mix, my long-term boss had been rif'ed when I was on vacation and I came back to a new job offer and a new boss.

I called my new boss and told him verbally, and then followed up with an e-mail to him and my HR business partner.

If you can't get your manager to talk, I would suggest calling your HR person to discuss, especially if you are on a two-week notice.

I would really wait to e-mail everyone else. I know the urge is there to share with others (I was at my previous job 13 years and I really wanted to tell people I knew well first) but do follow the work norm of trying to give notice via your boss, and if necessary HR before telling a larger audience.
posted by carmenghia at 6:54 PM on October 20, 2016

Agreed with notifying boss, but I recommend not waiting long to tell coworkers as you may get access cut soon after notifying boss/hr. Have LinkedIn/Gmail set up as desired to keep in touch with friends/peers/networks and send this contact info in your goodbyes.

Good luck.
posted by jclarkin at 7:28 AM on October 21, 2016

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