Group Texts and Incessant Slacks — 4 Ways to Deal When Your Coworkers Communicate Differently

woman stressed at work

Adobe Stock / Fairygodboss Staff

Profile Picture
Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k

Microsoft Teams. Trello. Outlook. Zoom. Slack. Discord. Salesforce.

In today’s workplace, the tools and technologies available for communicating are abundant. Some teams may even text one another about work issues. But with all these platforms, things can get a bit chaotic — and many people have established obvious preferences.

In the past, different tools and communication styles may not have seemed like such a big deal. But during the Great Resignation, employers must be cognizant of the fact that for some, they could make or break their willingness to engage with their teams. They may even turn down a job if they fear they’ll be required to use a tool they dislike.

“If you're not using the most mainstream platforms, candidates can be put off — or at least, that'll prompt them to dig in way more on tools and processes,” said Lauren Newton, Medium's head of People. 

But what if you’re an employee adjusting to a communication platform you just don’t like?

1. Make suggestions.

It’s possible your employer isn’t aware of better alternatives to the tools they’ve been using. Or, maybe because their methodologies have been so long-established, they simply haven’t considered different routes. That’s why it’s important to vocalize your preferences and offer suggestions on ways you think the team could streamline communication. You may give your manager an idea they haven’t thought of.

2. Compromise.

Perhaps you’re concerned that your manager seems to prefer to “over-Zoom,” when you think a Slack check-in will suffice. Suggest a compromise. For example, perhaps you could reserve Zoom for wider team meetings and matters that truly need to happen face to face, while relying on Slack for less formal, day-to-day communications. 

3. Ask for a tutorial.

If you’re not comfortable using a certain tool, it could be because you’re not used to it or haven’t had any experience with it. It could very well be that once you get accustomed to it, you’ll appreciate its merits more. So, why not ask a colleague for a brief tutorial? You could even learn about some cool tricks or hacks that will make your work life even easier!

4. Assess your priorities.

At the end of the day, how important are the tools your team uses to you when looking at the big picture? For many, communication technologies are low on the list of priorities. But you may see it differently. If your colleagues exclusively or mainly rely on texting for work matters, that could be a dealbreaker — and it’s up to you to decide whether this is the right environment for you.

--

This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What's your no. 1 piece of work communication advice — whether you're in-office, hybrid or remote? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!