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Rallyverse Blog

Working hard or hardly working? (Either way, you’re chatting)

By , on March 12, 2015 at 8:47 am

Let’s examine the touch points an average employee engages with on a daily basis.

You’ve got email (Outlook or Gmail, the classic conundrum and frequent office polarizer), you’ve got chat (Adium? Gchat?…er excuse me, “Hangouts“), and you’ve got at least five other social platforms you could choose for a more niche type of interaction outside of work (Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Facebook etc). I’m not even including mobile SMS platforms here because that’d be crazy! I’m also excluding the proprietary platforms that many highly-regulated industries use to keep their secrets in check…

For your politically-correct office banter, you might employ Trello, Basecamp, Yammer or Honey. Wait, hold up…now we’re getting into workflow management solutions? That’s cheating. Or is it? What about Evernote or JIRA…or Dropbox or Box? So many enterprise software products now embed chat as a little bonus, do those count? What if you only use them for one type of task, but still include some kind of message? WHAT THEN!?!!

I’m. Getting. Overwhelmed.

Talking to people has never been so complicated. One department uses one thing, your friend in HR only hangs on Gchat, your Mom is still emailing and sending “, Mom” texts. Your brother exclusively Snapchats.

Should I chat the CEO? Better just send her an email…(proofread it like crazy, amirite?). When you factor in office hierarchies, the landscape becomes even more cluttered…and risky. Channels begin to have connotations. Should you send a message “from your iPhone?” or do you really need to sit down and work from your desktop? Should you chat your manager or walk up to his desk? Do you need to send an additional email in case, your co-worker missed that share link?

Adding on to this, new players like Slack have disrupted the game, claiming to reduce unnecessary office meetings. Now I can’t even have face-to-face interaction?!?! Whats left? Continuous feeds, it seems. With different punctuations and frequencies. I didn’t need to leave my desk anyway, I guess.

Not to mention, if you’re using the freeware of some of these products, get ready for the monetization of space and interactions there. How soon before brands are chatting us directly and uninvited? How soon before a card on your Trello board says “Buy Pizza Hut because we know you love it!” (You can move that to the “Done” column).

The landscape is fragmented and, while there have been winners, nothing is set in stone. But are we better? Faster? More connected? Smarter? Iterating more or just diluting everything?

All I know is I’m tired, and I bet you are too. Let’s chat about it.

Then again…maybe not.

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Categories: Industry News