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Are We Becoming Robots?

Communication in the new virtual world often times makes us act like robots, especially at work. Here are some quoted highlights from a Washington Post article showing the problem with, but sometimes necessary, virtual business talk. 

“Virtual work is leading employees to fall back on corporate jargon more often. Business lingo may let remote employees signal that they’re still part of the company’s “in crowd,” or help anxious, scattered workers regain some sense of professionalism. But it is also leading to frustration and misunderstandings. One is miscommunication:

If business jargon sails over some people’s heads, it leads to mistakes and poor decisions, Wiltfong said. For instance, “end of day” might mean two different things to two different employees. Another is exclusion. Employees rely on language that’s confusing for outsiders because it marks them as insiders, Wiltfong said.

Image: Uday Mittal, Unsplash

At a time when some companies are making verbal commitments to more equitable work environments for people of different backgrounds, corporate speak works against that goal, he said. For many employees, the pandemic came with rapidly shifting expectations and blurred boundaries between home and the office.

Admit that you’ve got to get up from the Microsoft Teams meeting and pee? Not a chance. Suddenly, a “bio break” may feel more acceptable. “I’ll circle back” sounds better than “I’ll Slack you later because my water heater broke.”

And “I’m out of pocket” has a different ring than “I’m away from my desk because my son wants to show me a dead praying mantis.”” Read the full article here.

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