Nearly 98% of office workers experience stress from group video conferencing, polled as the most stressful form of communication, according to a new report from Loom, the asynchronous video messaging platform for modern work.
The results show that nearly two-thirds (62%) of office workers admit to multitasking during video calls — a quarter (28%) even do it on calls they’re expected to speak in.
The survey, “Building Connection in the Post-Modern Workplace,” polled 3,000 adults in the US and UK that work full-time in a desk job setting as it delved into the role that digital communication platforms play in the modern workplace, especially as companies grapple with decisions around distributed work models.
Loom took a deep dive at how tech tools (like IMs, email and phone calls) are swallowing up people's time during the workday without the best results, how relationships have been impacted, and the mental health impact of two-plus years in the remote/hybrid workplace.
Lost in digital (mis)communication
The survey also revealed that workers still struggle with clear communication, with 91% of office workers having had digital messages misunderstood and/or misinterpreted at work.
In addition, 20% say that miscommunication and/or misinterpretation has caused them to get reprimanded, demoted, or even fired. These employees are spending a significant amount of time worrying about potential misunderstandings, costing US businesses at least $128 billion each year.
There is a new term to coin that frustration of having to explain something over and over again via messaging to get your point across – “Slack-splaining”. It’s like the new “Zoom fatigue”
Office workers are engaging in “Slack-splaining” in order to clarify tone and preempt confusion:
- 97% feel the need to add something extra in digital communication to clarify tone
- 93% have felt the need to write multiple sentences to fully explain something
- 82% have felt the need to use extra punctuation (e.g. !!, ?!?, …)
- 77% have felt the need to use emojis, with 25% saying they do so often
While 87% of office workers can identify ways that working remotely and using digital communications tools have improved their jobs, 62% say miscommunication and/or misinterpretation of digital messages at work has a negative effect on their mental health.
Traditional tools aren’t enough
According to the survey, 72% of office workers are frustrated with their digital communication tools. In fact, each week, office workers are wasting one hour and 42 minutes on average scheduling and rescheduling calls in the workplace — costing businesses in the U.S. $1.85 billion dollars every week.
About 39% of office workers spend three or more hours a week in client and customer meetings, 27% spend 3 or more hours a week in company-wide meetings and team check-ins, and 25% spend 3 or more hours a week in informal one-on-one meetings with managers and/or coaches
The average office workers’ daily message counts include 32 emails, 21 instant messages/chats,13 text messages, and 12 one-on-one phone calls.
On the brighter side
The survey also showed that digital communication tools have empowered some employees to thrive and show their personality more than in a traditional office setting, and 58% say that showcasing their personality at work helps engage and motivate them.
In addition, most office workers (87%) can identify ways that working remotely and using digital communication tools have improved their job.
Tools like asynchronous video can be a happy medium for employees:
- 81% of workers say their workplace currently uses asynchronous video
- 36% say that recorded meetings have been the best side effect of remote work
Founded in late 2015, Loom has raised $203M from world-class investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Iconic, and Coatue. More than 14 million users across more than 200,000 companies around the world trust Loom to share feedback, updates, intros, training, and more – every day, Loom said in a statement.