If you’re reading this post, then it’s very likely you already feel tired, annoyed and disturbed by constant notifications coming from your favourite workplace chat tool - Slack.
“Zoom fatigue” became a well-known term in recent years. Since many workplaces chose to switch to remote work, they increased the amount of communication via other communication channels - mainly video calls and workplace chat software. Zoom, as the most used video conferencing tool, became the synonym for exhaustion we feel after a video call.
Zoom fatigue isn’t a hoax - it’s a reality for many workers around the globe. Simply, video meetings, if not managed properly, can leave us drained and without energy, ultimately leading us to burnout.
And there’s a pretty logical reason why that happens. During video calls, we experience an overload of nonverbal cues and communication we don’t experience during normal communication.
But, did you know you can suffer from workplace chat fatigue too?
Workplace chat, or notification fatigue, happens usually in remote workers that are leaning on digital communication channels to communicate with their coworkers and clients daily. Since communication via Slack and other communication tools most commonly happens in real-time, many workers feel compelled and forced to stop with whatever they’re doing to respond to their coworkers’ and client’s inquiries. This can be damaging to focus and productivity, lead to frustration since task completion takes longer, and burnout - since our minds are all over the place.
To prevent this from happening to you, we decided to share a few tips on how to avoid workplace chat fatigue effortlessly.
Sometimes we feel tempted to engage in Slack conversations that have little to nothing about the actual work. And even though non-work-related Slack channels might be good for team bonding and increase engagement between employees, they might become damaging to productivity if they’re not used in the right way.
If you feel like you’re spending too much time discussing with your coworkers via Slack channels, you can mute them and come back once you finish the most pressing tasks. Once you mute a channel you won’t be able to see if someone replied or posted anything in the channel and the chances of being lurked into a pointless conversation will be reduced to a minimum.
Make the most out of your Slack status
A good way to decrease notification in Slack is to use the status bar as a note and a warning to your coworkers about your availability.
To ensure your focus and productivity levels throughout the workday, adjust your Slack status accordingly and let your coworkers know when you’re available for chat, and when you’re too busy doing other things.
Check Slack a few times a day
If neither of these tactics was helpful, you can always shut down Slack altogether. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. After all, you need it if your organization uses it to communicate.
However, you can shut it down and schedule times when you’ll check messages throughout the day to ensure nothing is missed. That way, you’re less likely to be distracted and have a greater opportunity to finish the work in time.
The sound of notifications usually creates a sense of urgency to reply whenever a notification pops up on your screen. Obviously, most messages we get aren’t urgent and can wait for us to complete our task before responding. However, all we want is to check the message we got, breaking our concentration. To avoid this altogether, you can shut notifications altogether or shut them down when you need something done fast. All you need to do is to go to Preferences, check the notification tab and click on “disable desktop notifications”. Another thing you can do is to disable sound notifications in the Settings by finding the option in “Sound and appearance”.
Put social channels on another device
If you want to be more efficient, putting communication tools on another screen might help. To do it most efficiently, you can mute notifications and their sound and move the Slack in your browser on another screen. This way, you can monitor all your communication efficiently, and choose when you’re going to respond since you’ll have a better overview of which conversations need your immediate attention and which can wait. Another thing to try is to download Slack on your phone and choose not to have it on your laptop.
Workplace chat fatigue is preventable
Getting used to remote work in a digital era might be overwhelming at times. We need to learn how to navigate through using all these new tools that became widely spread over the past decade in the best possible way. We need to ensure we're staying connected with our coworkers, clients, and managers, but also know where to say "enough" when communication goes out of hand. With this being said, we hope our tips on how to manage Slack and avoid workplace chat fatigue can help you stay on track and allow you to be at your best year-round!