Handling stress from digital workplace communication

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Workplace, as we knew, is as long ceased to exist. Now, the expectations from workers are different, the workplace norms are different, and most importantly, workplace communication is different.

Gone were the days when you had to book the conference room to have an important discussion. Now, you are expected to show up with one Zoom click. Moreover, many digital communication channels have also opened up, including Slack, Trello, etc. that have eased workplace communication.

While you can turn off your read-receipts on WhatsApp, you might not have that leisure for emails. Paid versions of many email engines now give notifications when the reader has read the email, so your boss knows when you are not deliberating responding to them, instead of giving you the benefit of the doubt that you have not read the email.

Therefore, digital communication has significantly increased workplace stress, as you are not able to log off work, and that is very toxic. This can lead to debilitating levels of stress, meriting a visit to your Psychologist in Lahore then.

Handling the workplace communication problems

Not only can the constant workplace communication lead to stress, but burnout as well. When there is no off-time from work, and you are expect to perform around the clock, naturally you will burn out.

It can also lead to a lot of anxiety when you are expect to be on your toes all the time. There is also the issue of deciphering the messages, which can lead to even more stress; works inflections are not always easy to understand, and the anxiety of trying to understand whether your boss is angry or not can be too much for your brain to bear.

The ease with which your office can reach you also means you get no breaks. This also then puts a strain on your relationships and a damper on your social life.

Therefore, it is imperative that you learn to handle workplace communication in a way that your mental health is not impaire due to your work. Some helpful tips include:

Stop normalizing efficiency outside of work

When people decide to be super-efficient outside of the work, responding to the messages when they have clocked out, being available whenever and wherever they are normalizing dangerous norms. They are giving the office signal that you are able to cope with digital communication, and it is instead expected of a good worker to do so.

Therefore, it is imperative that you stop normalizing this behavior. People in Europe do the same, and they are able to flourish just fine.

Have a word with your colleagues, try to preach to yourself and your friends, as this culture needs to end.

Set boundaries

If you give your office the signal that you are reachable, they will reach you. It is on you to set boundaries. After giving them significant hours of the day, them encroaching on your personal time is not acceptable.

So, once you are off from work, turn off the notifications. If you can turn off your internet altogether, that would be great too!

Tell your team you cannot be reached on their whim. Tell yourself that the work can wait till tomorrow.

Don’t respond ASAP

Not everything is a national emergency. You do not need to get back to the office instantly, especially when it is after hours. Moreover, when you respond right away, you set the precedent that you will be doing so in the future as well.

Therefore, respond in a timely fashion, but not ASAP. The team can manage their expectations accordingly.

Word of advice

It is pertinent that you prioritize your mental health, even over your work. If your work is becoming too much to handle, perhaps it is time that you visited the best Psychologist in Islamabad for help.

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