WJR Business Beat: Chat Apps Are Central to Productive Hybrid Work (Episode 471)

On this episode of the Business Beat, Jeff shares results of a Preply study showing chat apps keep hybrid coworkers connected, perhaps too much.

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Good morning, Paul!

With the rise of remote work here in the U.S., work chat apps like Slack, for example, have become a critically important way for work teams to stay in sync and going beyond getting people together strictly for work purposes, these apps also have a benefit of allowing coworkers to socialize and even keep the company culture. These apps actually provide the connective tissue between coworkers that without which there would surely be an even bigger disconnect and breakdown in coordination, continuity and productivity.

And now a new study just conducted by Preply sheds more light on how we’re actually using these apps these days. And some of the key findings are as follows: 56% of workers in a hybrid work environment have a chat app on their personal; 35% of American workers receive messages on these apps a few times a day, about a third are getting messages every hour and over 1 in 10 are receiving messages every few minutes.

Now, while these chat apps have become critical in today’s hybrid work environment, there are some downsides. Fifty-five percent of American workers say that they’re checking messages during their free time just to keep up; 52% keep the app push notifications on so messages are never missed. American workers are checking work messages at all times during the day — in the evening, 88%; in the morning before work begins, 71%; and even on weekends, three out of every four Americans are checking their chat apps on weekends.

All of this can actually create an extra layer of anxiety and stress for your workers and we certainly don’t want that. The bottom line, Paul while most would say it would be impossible to be effective in a hybrid environment without chat, it’s also important to set boundaries on when they are expected to be used by workers and to establish protocols and best practices so they don’t become overwhelming.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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