Over the past few years, several communication tools have emerged to better organize teams that work online. Email, often referred to as the productivity villain, has been neglected so that it can be replaced by this type of tools.

The promise is always the same: save time and improve your team’s internal communication. But is it really so? Do these tools help to save so much time or, on the other hand, facilitate communication so much that they generate unnecessary noise for the team? Let’s talk a little bit about this last point …

How it used to work

In order to understand the problems that these tools can generate, we must reflect on what communication was like before tools like Slack appeared. When we wanted to ask someone on the team for a task, we sent an email and exchanged an idea about it right there. At most, we would arrange a meeting to discuss the project better. It was a time when email and Skype dominated.

But this work strategy had a problem: communication was often slow. A task was requested by email and sometimes the response took hours or days. This system of work had this flaw and it opened the way for tools such as Slack, Hipchat or even WhatsApp to enter the market of communication between teams.

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Communication noise

The perfect world

Now communication seemed to face a new era. The answers got faster, it became possible to know when a member of our team is online and even create specific groups for each topic. In addition, everything became integrated in one place: files, videos and pdf’s are now organized in a single tool.

Without a doubt, apps like Slack have allowed us to save more time in many ways. But not everything is as perfect as it looks …

If on the one hand we start communicating more quickly, on the other we end up becoming more anxious. While before, waiting for a few hours for an answer was understandable, nowadays waiting a few minutes makes us anxious. We want quick answers.

We fail to differentiate the urgent from the priority: all messages have become priority.

In addition, communicating with the team has become so easy, that today we share so much information that we do not even question whether that information is so important for the project. We exchanged ideas about that post we saw or that video that is generating buzz on social networks.

But I ask again: to what extent is this not taking us down?

You can tell me “Ah, but for that, you just need to organize and share only what is necessary!”.

This seems to be simple, but throw the first stone who never shared that unnecessary video or saw that GIF that was not relevant to their day. Don’t lie to yourself.

Consider the following: of all the messages that a Slack channel has, how many are necessarily for you? If you have a team of 20 or 30 people spread across multiple Slack channels, I think about 10-20% of these messages are important to you. In other words: at best, 4/5 of the messages you receive are NOT for you and will not change your day-to-day life.

Do you have any idea how much noise this may be making in your day-to-day?

When you want to be more productive, what do you do? Close all apps and focus only on what you’re working on.

This is exactly what Slack and the communication tools prevent. May you focus on what really makes a difference in your business: creating your product.

I do not expect that, with this text, you will abandon Slack or any other communication tool. We even use it internally. Above all, I want you to reflect.

If it is helping to improve your results, great. Think about whether, all this time you are investing in conversations with your team, they could not be reduced so that they focus on what, in fact, is most important to your company, which is your product.

Another thing we have done within Websites Are Us is to use a non-Slack schedule. During certain hours of the day, our developers do not use any communication tools. Their focus is on developing the product.

To be able to use Slack correctly, you have to have a culture with some well-defined rules, so that the people who work with you know what and when to write.

Have you used communication tools? How has the experience been? Also check out how easy it is to communicate with your team intermanete using Websites Are Us. And of course, be sure to use it to offer excellent service in your business.

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