The pandemic has changed the way managers and employees communicate and collaborate. On the one hand, 87% of office workers can identify ways remote working and digital communication tools have improved their work. On the other hand, 62% said that poor communication or misinterpretation of digital messages at work negatively affects their mental health.
These are the findings of the new report “Building Connection in the Post-Modern Workplace” by Loom, the video messaging platform for the modern workplace.
In the survey, nearly 3,000 adults in the US and UK shared their feelings about the traditional communication tools used in the workplace. Overall, it’s not working, and 72% said they were frustrated with their digital communication tools.
The same study found that workers still struggle to communicate clearly, and 91% of office workers have had their digital messages misunderstood or misinterpreted at work.
In addition, 20% reported that miscommunication or misinterpretation has led to being reprimanded, demoted or even fired. Employees spend a considerable amount of time worrying about potential misunderstandings, costing US companies at least $128 billion each year.
To make sure they are clear, office workers practice “Slack-Splaining”. In this regard, 97% of respondents felt the need to add something to the digital communication to clarify the tone, and 93% felt the need to write several sentences to explain something fully.
In non-verbal communication, misinterpretation can distort the original message. To avoid confusion, 82% felt the need to use additional punctuation (e.g. !!, ? ! ?…), while 77% felt the need to use emojis, with 25% saying they do so often.
When it comes to productivity, 39% of office workers spend three or more hours per week in meetings with clients, 27% in company and team meetings, and 25% in informal one-to-one meetings with managers or advisors. The average office worker’s daily message count includes 32 emails, 21 instant messages/chats, 13 text messages and 12 one-to-one phone calls.
Each week, office workers waste an average of one hour and 42 minutes scheduling and rescheduling calls in the workplace, costing US businesses $1.85 billion per week.
The video dilemma
Can the use of video be the solution to improve communication? Tools such as asynchronous video can provide a common ground for employees: 81% of workers said their workplace currently uses asynchronous video and 36% said that recorded meetings have been the best side effect of remote working.
In contrast, the results show that almost two-thirds (62%) of office workers admitted to multitasking during video calls, and a quarter (28%) even do so during calls where they are supposed to be talking. In addition, 98% of office workers are stressed by group video conferencing, making it one of the most stressful forms of communication.
The bright side
It’s not all bad, although there is still much room for improvement in optimising remote working. The survey found that digital communication tools have allowed some employees to develop and show their personality more than in a traditional office environment, with 58% saying that showing their personality at work helps to engage and motivate them.
To read the full report, it is here.
In this article, you learned that:
- 62% said that poor communication or misinterpretation of digital messages at work negatively impacts their mental health.
- 97% of respondents felt the need to add something in the digital communication to clarify the tone.
- 93% felt the need to write several sentences to explain something fully
- Employees spend a considerable amount of time worrying about potential misunderstandings, costing US companies at least $128 billion each year.