Evolving Business Communications

There are very few people that would rank their communications at work on par with chatting to their friends. Of course, part of this is due to the fact that you get to pick your friends. (Your co-workers, not so much.) However, another real and more correctable reason for the discrepancy may be the difference in these communications themselves.

When chatting with a friend, you can leverage every chat style you can think of. Emoji lets you include an eye-roll to convey sarcasm or a beaming smile to show your pride. With ASCII you can add a ;) after a playful tease. By leveraging classic text abbreviations an "lol" can lighten the mood instantly and show what a good sport you are. My favorite way to convey personality is the .gif. Because of their very nature they can display incredibly complex feelings on a topic.

Don't believe these communication methods make that big of a difference? Let's try it out!

I noticed you were late this morning.

A fairly straight forward sentence, but with no context, what does it mean?!

 

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"I noticed you were late this morning ;)"

My coworker knew I was on a date last night and is poking fun.

 

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My coworker seems concerned for me. Isn't that sweet?

 

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"I noticed you were late this morning                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh no! Maybe I inconvenienced my coworker! Maybe I should go make sure he doesn't need anything.

 

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Now, I just displayed the same exact sentence three times, with three distinct inflections. (Pardon the formatting, blog structure isn't the most multi-media friendly.) Are you convinced of the value in modern communications now?

Many people deem these unorthodox expressions "unprofessional". However, like language itself, it's all about how you use it. "You're an idiot" shouldn't be put in an email either, but stigmatizing the entire English language would be ridiculous. "Unprofessional" is a valid criticism for a fair amount of communication, but I believe it's incredibly detrimental for the business establishment to deem all advances in the way we relate to each other to be inappropriate for the workplace.

I truly believe that as Millennials continue to become a larger and larger portion of the American workforce we will see new styles of communication lose their stigma. Someday Outlook will allow .gifs. Someday the bulk of a company will feel comfortable using the emoji in their chat platform. Someday, hopefully soon, we will all be able to better express ourselves in a work environment. I am incredibly excited for that day.

 

 A way better expression of my inflection than the typically annoyed/ demanding sounding sentence,  "I can't wait."

A way better expression of my inflection than the typically annoyed/ demanding sounding sentence,  "I can't wait."