Blogi | 16.1.2017

About workplace communication

Journalist Tero Lehto ironized the spectrum of technology in his column (T&T 13.1.2017). Lehto put together a list of rivalling communications channels, which some people use regularly and others haven’t even heard of. A rather familiar situation for many, and not an easy one – “even Google didn’t succeed in their try to combine instant messages, social media platforms and wikis with e-mails”, Lehto stated.

But let’s take this thought a step further. Isn’t it so that it’s those colleagues who eagerly take up the most recent tools of communication, are also the ones who cannot use the old channels? The ones, who said they were tired of overflooding e-mails, never replied to them and that’s why they escaped to Slack. Or chat. Or just anywhere. A colleague from a competing agency boasts using 53 different apps to made her life easier. Consequently, she is notoriously difficult to reach.

The real reason for communication tsunami is in poor writing. When you send a message that delivers only half of the information needed, it leads to misunderstanding, questions and an array of digital ping-pong. Regardless of which device or channel was used in the first place. Adding channels doesn’t help, it’s just making matters worse. There is no substitute for quality writing.

In order to get things right, we have to get rid of this tangle. So log out of Slack, Messenger, Skype and Lync. Turn off chats, e-mails and Mintel. Shut down fax machines and throw your telex in the bin.

Choose a sheet of nice paper, an envelope and a good pen. Start writing. You can fit deeper thoughts on one sheet of paper than the president of the United States can in a hundred tweets.

Give your letter to a postman. Then sit back. You don’t have to follow your accounts and walls, it will take a few days before the answer arrives. Finally, there’s peace at the office.

Luxurious, don’t you think?

Alpo Räinä