Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tethered to technology

How many times has this happened to you?

You receive an email or phone call from a colleague and you don't have a clue as to what your colleague wants or needs. Laptop computers, cell phones and PDAs may enable rapid communication, but do they enable fuzzy communication? In many cases, the answer is yes. Sometimes we're so eager to quickly answer an email or return a phone call that we're not always sending and receiving clear messages.

If you happen to work remotely, communication can be a real concern. While 69 percent of those interested in workplace flexibility expected it would be easy to set up their laptop to work remotely, respondents in a new Microsoft survey conveyed lingering concerns about those arrangements. Two out of three respondents still were concerned with the security of sending confidential emails or documents from outside the office. One in five said they feared they would feel “out of the loop” if they worked in a flexible environment.

Even for those who don't work remotely, cutting the ties to electronic communication can be tough. In a survey for The Creative Group, 47 percent of advertising and marketing executives said they check in at least daily while they're taking off time away from the office.

It seems we have become 21st-century slaves to technology.

For more information about effective work-related communication, read this article from the Jamaica Observer, visit this blog post by Toby Ward or check out this guidance from