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Avoiding Communication Fatigue as Coronavirus Separates Workforce

Keeping our community healthy and safe while maintaining business continuity is our top priority. We want to do our part to help you stay connected and productive. Here is an article to help you with communication.

Many employees at organizations across the country have been working from home during the coronavirus outbreak. For some employees, this is their first experience with remote work, telework, video conferencing, etc. And it’s everyone’s first experience with the new concept of social distancing. Combined, these factors are changing our communication habits.

As with any change, people need time to adjust. Freelancers are used to working from home, but for someone who’s sat at the same desk in the same office for the last 10 years, it’s awkward. Working from home can be fun, comfortable and productive, but it’s also quiet. (In many cases at least, though people with children or pets at home might disagree.)

But as folks gather up essentials, stage their home offices and practice using webcam services like Zoom, they also have to prepare mentally for the resulting change in interpersonal communication. They might start to miss watercooler conversations, front-desk small talk or going to lunch with their co-workers — forms of communication that help define their workplace culture and even their social identity.

As people adjust to working remotely and communicating with colleagues solely online during the coronavirus outbreak, they must distinguish between essential and nonessential communications. We can make up for missed small talk by calling co-workers to check-in, or by forming online groups through Facebook, Slack and other micro-chatting platforms. We might start by discussing an essential work item but end up talking about personal stuff, just like we do at the office.

In times of crisis, the need to communicate can feel like an ongoing requirement..

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