Drowning in Digital Chatter

By: James Flippin · April 28, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Communication Overload

In recent years, workplaces have been inundated with different forms of communication, leading to an increase in misunderstandings — and, ironically, miscommunication.

Professionals today use a multitude of productivity platforms such as Slack (WORK) and Microsoft Teams (MSFT), not to mention other virtual tools like email and video conferencing. As these become more common, so does the potential for confusion.

The abundance of communication channels can create difficulties in keeping track of important information — and sending that information to the right person. Managing multiple conversations at once can also cause significant stress and, in some cases, workplace communication is suffering because of it.

A Digital Boom

The rapid rise of remote work during the pandemic led to an explosion in virtual communication.

Microsoft Teams now boasts over 280 million monthly active users. Meanwhile, video platform Zoom’s (ZM) business customers have roughly tripled. This surge in usage has lead to an unprecedented number of communication channels — and an unprecedented amount of workplace chaos.

In today’s workforce, the average employee must toggle between Slack channels, Zoom calls, emails, and more — all while trying to complete other work duties. As more people work remotely and rely on these tools for daily interactions, the challenges they present have proliferated, too.

Domino Effect

This breakdown in communication has far-reaching consequences for employees and employers alike.

According to a recent survey of over 1,200 executives and workers, bosses estimated their teams lost 7.57 hours on average per week due to poor communication.

While misunderstandings and missed messages can lead to errors, wasted time, and a lack of productivity, the challenges of modern workplace communication can also affect work culture and mental well-being. The abundance of virtual communication can cause stress for employees struggling to stay on top of numerous platforms, and may even contribute to negative workplace behavior, such as ignoring colleagues.

Still, for an increasingly remote workforce, virtual tools are necessary for there to be any communication at all. In any case, recognizing these challenges could be the best first step in addressing them.

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