One of the more challenging aspects of moving to Australia has been adopting to the pace of communications.
In the first few weeks I reported my Blackberry as not working several times, only to discover that the pace of email after hours slows to a crawl or evaporates entirely. As the productivity debate rages in the media down here, I can’t help but smile at how Australia has all but rejected the idea that just because you are tethered to the network you should be ready to work.
Compare this to the US where an email unanswered in minutes draws expressions of concern, confusion and outright outrage.
I’ve been slowing the pace of my email for two simple reasons. First, if it needs to happen real-time it is generally happening in Twitter or Chatter. Second, I’m carving my day up more into working chunks and only looking at email in specific windows. I’m also doing my best to do Saturday’s email and Internet free.
While Australian businesses should look at the velocity of their communications – they are slow by any standard, they don’t need to embrace the connectedness rife in the US. While email tempo isn’t an indicator of productivity focus is.
The question is going to be how do we increase focus and mindfulness in the workplace while maintaining our velocity.