Instant messaging and e-mail make our jobs much easier. Long gone are the days of running to your colleague's desk to have normal, face-to-face human interaction about your project. Now, we can send each other passive-aggressive messages and avoid each other altogether. Yay.
This Monday, Amber Sevart tweeted the ridiculous work-related message she received. "I e-mailed you 3 days ago," it said. Indeed, the person contacted Amber on Friday afternoon at 4:47 pm. However, they followed up at 8:15 am on Monday morning which means they technically gave her 28 working minutes to respond.
Amber's tweet instantly went viral, generating over 295K likes and 823 comments, many of which were written by people who also wanted to share the infuriating and ridiculous exchanges they had the pleasure to be a part of at work.
I don't know whether the thread they have eventually created is sad, funny, or both, but it sure does capture the toxic communication most of us have to endure while making a living.
Such e-mails might be a hint suggesting there's something wrong with the company, too. Experts say poor communication between employees and management is another sign of toxicity.
According to a study conducted by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), nearly 3 in 10 employees believe their managers don't encourage a culture of open and transparent communication. When this happens, managers and employees seldom interact. Even when they do, the information typically flows top-down with managers giving instructions to their subordinates, who have no autonomy whatsoever.
To make matters even worse, when the communication is poor, the collaboration between management and employees might also be negatively affected and employees become reluctant to ask questions.
Research on leadership has shown that employees look at their leaders for cues on how to behave in the workplace. So, the communication problem between management and employees can spill into the rest of the organization. As a result, employees no longer see value in communicating and collaborating with each other. Instead of engaging in personal interactions, they prefer using other communications means.
Such as e-mails or text messages. It's a closed circle.