During 2020, Covid saw to it that as a nation, we developed the growing fatigue of being constantly online, communicating with our employers, employees and colleagues. Zoom-fatigue became a real thing, as did, in contradiction, our experience of homeworking and the relative loneliness compared with being in our usual office environment.

“I’ll send you a voice note.”

Could voice notes be the answer?

Once only the communication of millennials, voice notes are now increasingly used by businesses, organisations and workers, over various applications, including, Teams, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook. Voice notes are being seen as a new, ‘non-intrusive’ way of communicating important reminders and information, as well as being a ‘no-pressure’ way to stay in touch with co-workers.

Unlike text messages, voice notes are not seen as having the same urgency as texts. They are quick and easy to send and do not require the recipient to go through a gateway procedure to listen to them as voicemails do. The recipient can listen to a voice note at their leisure; they can save it, stop and pause it (if the washing machine is in full spin), and send the minimum of response in acknowledgement: "Okay"

Sending a voice note implies the sender is too busy, or doesn’t want to, or need to, have a traditional two-way telephone call. They just want to get the information/message communicated in a more personal way. And while the voice note can be said to lack the personal nature of a two-way conversation, there is more human emotion transmitted in a voice note than there is in, say, an email or text message.

Covid has advanced the use of voice notes

In many ways, Covid has caused the rise of the voice note. With the rapid rise of homeworking and risks of lack of employee engagement and isolation, much has been written about the need for homeworkers to interact, reach out and communicate with their teams. Yet, this has, for some individuals, resulted in pressure to ‘be visible’.

Voice notes have the personal touch

With voice notes, the interaction is still personal, with our brains responding positively to the sound of a friendly voice, but yet without the attached etiquette to respond as fast as possible, or talk there and then, when you may need to concentrate on other things, or take a nap.

There’s no room for misinterpretation with a voice note. The recipient can hear the tone of voice; something that can be completely misunderstood in a text or email. And with many apps open and multiple messages flying around, a voice note can quickly cut through the noise and deliver the right information to the right person.

‘Talk don’t type’

‘Talk don’t type’ is a phrase now commonly heard amongst business tech innovators. Use voice notes to convey nuance and complexity in your own words rather than labouring over a text, or worrying about a ‘bossy’ tone of voice in an instructional email you spend hours typing out.

Research shows that humans react positively to other humans, and therefore engagement with any requests you issue by voice note is likely to be higher than if you sent the same request by email.

While there are many things from 2020 we don’t want to keep, the voice note is already being identified as one of the tech tools set to stay to help us in our working lives not predicted to be moving out of the home office anytime soon.

If you need help to figure out voice notes, or voice messages, in Teams, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Cultrix Office 365 experts.