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Are you feeling the communication fatigue?

With many of us working from home we are starting to feel the communication fatigue. If you’re anything like me, your phone and laptop will be constantly pinging - A slack ping, an email ping - Everything seems to feel urgent and we are starting to lose focus.

With many people across the country/world working from home and for most of them, this is their first experience with working remotely, using video conferencing etc. With so much change going on, people need time to adjust.

I am one of the lucky ones who has had the privilege of working from home and have mastered the art of video conferencing, but for so many others, who have sat at the same desk for several years, the new normal seems very awkward. Take it from me, working from home has its perks, it can be fun, comfortable and productive. But with schools being out, it’s not as quiet anymore, which throws another element to the mix.

As many of us are gearing up to using video conferencing services, we also need to prepare mentally for the change in interpersonal communication. The small talk while making coffee in the kitchen in the workplace or going out for lunches with friends and co-workers. Forms of communication that help define their workplace culture. It’s more important than ever for managers, business owners and leaders to step up and create spaces for this type of communication to continue to flow.

In times of crisis, the need to communicate can feel like an ongoing obligation. As we adjust to our new ways of working, we also need to think about and distinguish between essential and non-essential communications. As we setup our Slack channels for the office small talk, our managers are planning 3 video conferences and 2 individual check in meetings. But too much communication can defeat its own purpose making people feel overloaded. People naturally start tuning out of messages.

The good news is, overloading can be avoided, here are a couple of things you can do to avoid communication fatigue.

Consider the frequency: Before sending yet another email, first consider how many times you’ve already emailed people on the same topic and how often they have responded. Try consolidating your emails into a single email.

Are you adding value? It’s always best to ask yourself before sending another email am I adding value? If your communication doesn’t add anything new or timely - don’t sent it.

Put yourself in their shoes: When communicating with your employees, make sure your message is something you would want to read/listen to with the right tone of voice.

Instil trust: One-way communication is a thing of the past. Employees who feel listened to have enhanced feelings of trust. There are many ways to facilitate two-way communication including during these self-isolating times. For example; interactive video interviews/meetings, employee surveys, Q&A features on the company intranet, and suggestion channel on your internal chat.

Lady sitting on bed with laptop and phone

If you’re not sure if you are bombarding your employees with too much communication, then simply ask them. Ask for their feedback and preference on how they would like to receive communication. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.

If you’re out of ideas and looking for new ways to communicate or just need help setting you online channels for communication, then get in touch.