It's not just you, everyone thinks collaboration tools are a nightmare

(Image credit: / Syda Productions)

Digital communication and remote collaboration tools have been of tremendous help, not just during the pandemic, but also as workers return to the office, but they’ve also hurt us - a lot.

Some workers are struggling to properly communicate their messages via chats and emails, and for some, it resulted in mental health issues and/or getting fired/demoted on their workplace, a report from Loom found.

Surveying 3,000 U.S. and U.K. adults, working full-time desk jobs, Loom found that 72% are frustrated with their digital communication tools. Almost all (91%) have had digital messages either misunderstood, or misrepresented, at work, and 20% were reprimanded, demoted, or even fired, over them. Two-thirds (62%) said this issue has had negative effects on their mental health, as well.

Collaboration headache

That’s why, almost half of office workers (47%) overthink emails and messages they send at work, while 32% would love to replace digital work meetings with recorded and/or asynchronous video. 

Before that happens, desk workers are tackling the misunderstanding issue by “Slack-Splaining”: 

  • 97% felt they needed to further clarify their tone of voice
  • 93% felt they needed to write additional sentences to fully explain things 
  • 82% are adding extra punctuation (double exclamation mark, for example)
  • 77% are using emojis to convey their emotions 
  • 25% use emojis “often”

Digital productivity tools are not all doom and gloom, though. They’ve empowered some employees to thrive and show their personality more than in the classic office and for 58% - this helps engage and motivate them. For almost all office workers (87%) digital communications tools have improved their job in one way or another.

Loom also claims 81% of workers say their workplace uses asynchronous video, with 36% describing recorded meetings as “the best side-effect of remote work”.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.