Digital fatigue - the demise of online communication?

It’s well-versed that digital has held the realm of supreme Comms King for the last two decades. But in a world that is growing increasingly tired of the influx of digital messages, platforms, apps and the like – are we getting jaded with digital communication?

It’s in the numbers

A recent communication report revealed more than a third of online users in the UK are now taking “digital detox” breaks from the internet1. Both in our personal and professional worlds, people are finding it difficult to disconnect from their online world. So much so, certain countries and companies have clamped down on this “always on” culture.

It’s an international debate

Step up France and its hotly debated labour reform bill. It suggests companies should implement policies that limit the overflow of work, in relation to “digital technology” and employees’ private lives2. Ultimately meaning employees shouldn’t be sending or receiving emails out of office hours. Rakuten owned company PriceMinister has taken it one step further and introduced “no-email Fridays” to actively encourage employees to use less digital messaging3.

It’s a stress-related issue

Employee burnout is one of the major causes for low productivity and poor engagement levels. It’s all very well having a comprehensive health and wellness initiative but if the average person receives 121 emails per day4 isn’t it time to review how you communicate across the company? Making small measures to combat and streamline the influx of messaging can have an astronomical effect on your employees.

Back to basics

Digital isn’t over by any means – but what this insight reveals is an attitudinal change in how we should communicate and cascade messages. Remember traditional channels can be just as effective, if not more. For example:

  • 16.1 per cent of employees want one-to-one meetings with their line manager, despite 5.9 per cent of employers still providing this5
  • An impressive 21.8 per cent of people like to receive leaflets/guides despite 15.6 per cent of employers doing this6

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  1. More than a third of UK internet users have tried ‘digital detox’ – The Guardian
  2.  French Legislation Suggests Employees Deserve The Right To Disconnect – The Huffington Post
  3. The plan to ban work emails out of hours – BBC News
  4.  By the numbers: 73 incredible email statistics
  5. Capita – Employee Benefits Insight Report 2015
  6. Capita – Employee Benefits Insight Report 2015
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