November 2022
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TD Magazine


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

You get a simple instant message from a co-worker that sends your brain into overdrive, questioning how you should respond and whether you should add emojis or a couple of exclamation points.

According to a survey by communication platform Loom, you're not alone in overthinking. Of the more than 3,000 office workers in the US and UK polled, half said they regularly overthink emails and messages they send at work. Loom calls it slack-splaining, which is "over-explaining digital communications to ensure they aren't misunderstood." It adds an unnecessary extra layer of stress to your workday and literally costs your employer money.


Workers add extra sentences, punctuation, and emojis to ensure they clearly communicate their message. Still, 91 percent of polled workers said they've had work messages misinterpreted. That extra time spent overexplaining costs companies $128 billion each year.

Loom CEO Joe Thomas suggests determining the right platform to convey your message before you send a note. If you feel the need to use emojis to get your point across, a face-to-face interaction or a video call may work better. Find the style and communication mediums that make your work environment as enjoyable as possible.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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