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Why is Messenger becoming an unpopular collaboration tool?

  • Monday, October 8, 2018, 2:19 pm
  • ACROFAN=Jae-Yong Ryu
The Messenger that reduced unnecessary meetings and opened the new world of real-time collaboration became a troublemaker because it is giving work stresses even after work hours.

Since France enacted the right to disconnect in its labor standards last year, the worldwide ban on work orders through messengers is becoming increasingly popular. However, many indications are pointing that these changes are the full answer for the problem. This is because, creating an efficient work environment for finishing work within working hours are as important as stop giving work orders after working hours. Many experts point out that instant messaging notification during office hours can cause business interruption, and even can lead to stress disorder.

According to reports from McKinsey and the Korea Productivity Center, typical office workers spend an average of 2.2 hours on their e-mail and replying messengers during their work hours. it is equivalent to 27.5 percent from a typical 8-hour work day. Considering that messenger work order can occur in anytime, it would interrupt workflows interruption throughout the working hours.

The actual wasting hours for workers due to interruption are beyond expectations. Hackernoon, a website for IT engineers, conducted a survey of 4,000 High-Performance Employees (HPE) in 2017. According to the report, the average time a worker wastes as a work hindrance is 2 hours and 18 minutes a day, and when converted to a year, it is equivalent to 600 hours (75 days) respectively. Considering that the average hourly wage of HPE in the U.S. is $53, the annual loss per capita is $31,800 (Approximately 3.5 million KRW), and if a company has 40 HPEs, the loss would reach $1,250,000 (Approximately 1.4 billion KRW).

The damage caused by the work interruption was found to have a great influence on the work performance of the workers as well. Including ‘Interruptions to workflow: Their relationship with irritation and satisfaction with performance, and the mediating roles of time pressure and mental demands’ (2013), published by Anja Baethge, a professor of psychology at University of Leipzig, Germany and many universities and research institutes’ study on changes in cognitive ability due to work disruption confirms that people who are disturbed have more than twice the rate of work mistakes, nervous and irritated reactions, compared to people who are not disturbed, and it has been found that it takes up to 27% more time to complete an existing task.

As the side effects of Messenger, which is the beneficiary of the real-time collaboration are highlighted, some companies are restricting the use of messenger to 'temporary discussion use only', or set specific time zone as concentrating working hours to prevent 'messenger pollution'. In addition, some are moving away from messenger-centric collaboration tools, and are moving toward more collaborative tools that match with its workers’ workflow. For this reason, the third generation collaboration solutions, so-called issue based collaboration tools is getting famous.

‘collabee’, the most well-known issue-based collaborative tool, supports file sharing and communication functions like the existing collaboration tools, but also it displays the user-oriented user interface (UI) in the real-time collaborative environment. When one of the members creates a 'project space' for collaborative work, anyone who is invited to this space can write, and can directly comment on the written articles including assigning specific tasks, requesting decisions. All articles, materials, and requests can be viewed through your own news feed or easily viewed through the Kanban view, which is sorted by progress. Especially since it supports both PC and Android as well as iOS, users can cope with collaborative situations regardless of time and place.

An industry official said, "Many companies are wondering how to guarantee their rights not to be disturbed at times other than working hours, but what is important is that they should not be disturbed during working hours to improve work performance and reduce overtime works. As collaborative tools emphasize real-time or communication, it is important to build a new collaborative environment that allows workers to concentrate on their work without disturbing the work, as it becomes more complicated by the structure of disturbance and unrealistic collaboration flow."