FOMO in Team Collaboration – Is Fear Affecting Your Workforce?
FOMO: Fear of missing out.
Team collaboration apps like Slack, Cisco Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams have enabled more communication and collaboration than we once thought possible.
An ever-evolving roster of available productivity tools has made constant communication the new norm.
Team discussions continue at all hours of the day.
Emails constantly fly back and forth while we’re trying to keep up with endless phone and video calls.
Endless communication seems like a good thing, at first.
But, it can mean that your employees spend more time checking their apps, than focusing on the tasks at hand. US workers check their phone an average of once every 12 minutes.
FOMO in the age of continual communication
Fear of Missing Out, or “FOMO” means the more apps an employee has, the more worried they’ll be about missing crucial messages when they’re not online.
And it’s not just millennials who frequently click between apps.
Baby boomers and Gen Z feel just as compelled to stay connected and prove value to their employer.
With distributed teams and evolving technology, it’s a challenge to keep everyone connected.
Unfortunately, a disorganized workforce, combined with the rising trend of FOMO means staff members are constantly dealing with two problems.
They could be struggling to find the right data among a wide selection of tools. They could be facing information overload from repeated messages on multiple apps.
According to some researchers, we’ve entered the era of the “overwhelmed employee.”
Chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams were designed to empower your teams. In some cases, they are contributing to their stress.
When people don’t know how to align their daily messages into one manageable team, FOMO occurs.
Asking employees to stay on top of so many channels at once adds an extra layer of pressure to the workplace.
This damages engagement, productivity
FOMO – the productivity killer
While FOMO might seem like just another industry buzzword, it can be more damaging to your organization than you realize.
You might even be aware of the feeling yourself.
Perhaps you’re sitting at home, relaxing with the family, with a nagging voice in your head.
You’re missing a meaningful conversation on Slack, or you’ve forgotten to check a file on Cisco Webex Teams.
Eventually, you start taking your work home with you, and the stress of having to deal with endless information streams follows you wherever you go.
Workplace FOMO means that your staff
Endless chat tools and messenger apps give your teams even more popups, notifications and pings to keep track of.
And these workplace tools are on top of
This compounding stress doesn’t just distract your employees; it harms your bottom line.
Research from Eastern Kentucky University shows that businesses spend around $300 billion each year on missed work days and lost productivity caused by stress.
All the while, your people are growing less engaged, more agitated, and increasingly overwhelmed by their work.
More tools = more stress
Today, addressing the issue of workplace FOMO means removing some of the constant distractions that keep your team members on edge.
Alongside ever-present emails, your teams don’t also need three or four chat tools to keep on top of.
The more tools you have running at once in your workplace, the more aggressive FOMO becomes.
Some business leaders attempt to cure the problem by banning specific tools from the workplace.
Though this might seem to work at first, the truth is that it’s challenging to prevent your employees from using the applications they prefer.
What’s more, if you’re successful at eliminating certain apps from the office, it probably means they’ve turned to shadow messaging.
The cure for FOMO in the age of constant messaging isn’t banning specific chat tools; it’s syncing your communication.
How to stop FOMO
The key to overcoming FOMO is better communication.
Conversations will always be essential to your business, but they don’t necessarily need to be coming to your employees from every angle.
By combining different streams of information into a single knowledge source, you can reduce the chaos and clutter of the evolving workspace and ease your employee’s fears.
Rather than letting communication run rampant, making your messaging apps interoperable will eliminate excess chat apps and employees can stick with a single chat app each day.
If you’re a Slack user, just log into Slack.
You will see your messages from other Slack users but also colleagues on Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex teams too. And vice versa.
If your preference is Microsoft Teams, stay in Microsoft Teams and your Slack and Webex colleagues can message you across platform.
This messaging nirvana instantly reduces the threat of app overload, increases productivity and decreases FOMO.