Texting in the workplace

In this day and age, where electronic communications have become commonplace, Texting has become the ‘norm.’ It is even taking over more personal forms of communications, such as picking up the phone or walking over to your boss’ office.  And we’ve all seen when autocorrect can strike when texting a co-worker, employee or supervisor. Danger Zone!

This can create some hilarious situations, depending on company culture and the nature of the text, but can also lead to some serious misunderstandings. While the example given above is fun and lighthearted, employees (and employers!) need to be careful when sending text messages.  Take a moment to proof-read before hitting the “send” button.

There is a very simple reason for this; unlike a phone call, or a discussion with another individual in person, texting lacks tone and depth of meaning. Additionally, the use of “text-speak” such asOMG, BRB, TTYL can convey a serious lack of professionalism. Accidentally, sending a text to your boss about what your Friday night plans are could certainly land you in some hot water, especially if your employer has asked you to come in for a special project on Saturday.

Situations such as this can create issues for both employees and employers, creating situations of sexual harassment, absenteeism that was not authorized, and of course, any number of common misunderstandings.

In essence, companies and individuals that utilize text messaging to communicate need to pause and proof each and every text before hitting the “send” button. Just as in sending an email to a client, colleague or employer, thinking ahead about how the text message being sent might be interpreted by another individual can save a huge amount of stress – and preserve your identity as a top performing professional.