Managing Your Team: Perils of Communication Platforms

As we retire the COVID Digest, we want to stress the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse of workplace communication to avoid disrespectful interactions, especially with new tools such as Slack.

Slack, a well-known communication platform, is used among professionals and has gained popularity in the era of coronavirus. Remote teams enjoy the organized structure and instantaneous communication that programs such as Slack provide.

While messaging platforms such as Slack have increased communication efficiency, they have also become a medium that facilitates uncivil behavior, bullying, and harassment in the workplace. Employers should be conscious of the risks that come with virtual communication including:

  • Emotional dumping
  • Inappropriate or off-topic conversations
  • Passive aggressiveness
  • Surface-level or informal conversations

As our world has transitioned to virtual communication, video conferencing has become the norm for students and employees globally with Zoom as the market leader with over 13 million users. This growing volume may strain this tool, leading the program to stall or even crash. Employers should consider alternative platforms such as Cisco Webex, Google Hangout, or Microsoft Teams to minimize interruption to your day-to-day operations.

In addition, employers may understandably require that their employees use communication applications on their mobile devices for immediate communication while working remotely or while in the field of operations. REMEMBER: Employers are required to provide cell phone subsidies to employees when use of their personal mobile devices is required for work,  (California Labor Code Section 2802).

Should you need help establishing this subsidy within your organization, please contact us at [email protected]


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