For years, many forward-thinking companies have had a problem with email. Though it’s the bedrock of communication in the corporate sector, digital tools have evolved at a rapid pace in recent years, solidifying what some liken to email’s death knell, ushered forth by younger workers who loathe the staid, slow and sterile format.
Certain companies are relying more than ever on direct messaging, which allows managers, bosses and even the odd C-suite executive to ping anyone in an organisation, with blinding immediacy. The tools are numerous: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype; even personal communication platforms like WhatsApp and text, and social-media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are slowly subsuming email’s old function.
But the casual nature of communication on these platforms can in many ways blur the lines between professional and personal relationships, and even create an emotional burden on employees. And the onslaught of direct messages can follow workers home well after office hours, chaining them to their devices in a constant pursuit to close the loop and perform for the bosses who are crossing the line.