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A New Era Of Response Time And Applying Best Efforts


Founder + CEO of www.theinfluence.com, a well-respected influencer marketing, public relations, event planning, & talent booking agency.

With the transition of workplace culture over the last two years, there have been several shifts in industry practices and company morale overall. The pandemic and increased time spent working remotely has certainly led to an emphasis on examining workplace practices, goals and methods. It has created an opportunity to pay closer attention to communication tactics and exchanges in communication, especially externally.

The adapted workplace scenario has also led to an added amount of pressure on contracted consultants from clients — as well as internal teams within companies — to constantly deliver, provide nonstop results and always be available to respond. Somewhere during the new “work from home” era, it seemingly became acceptable to expect an immediate response, with frustration often reflected if this does not take place. In the beginning of the pandemic everyone was home and excited to still have opportunities rolling in, therefore jumping to reply and keep relationships intact, creating work while the world was in unexpected turmoil. However, at this point in time and transition, two years later, there needs to be a level of respect for response time integrated back into the communications systems between organizations.

Prior to instant technology and social media, prior to the pandemic, response time within a business capacity was respected, honored and understood. With the rise of quick digital technology and social media platforms, we became used to an immediate response, getting gratification from likes, DMS, texts, tweets and emails treated like text messages in terms of response time. This escalated for several years prior to the pandemic but was accelerated during the “work from home” adaptation.

While an immediate response (and when I say immediate, I more so mean “timely”) is necessary in certain business scenarios — i.e., a conference call is not connecting, you are running late for a meeting, there is urgent news to share that truly is urgent — many scenarios that we deem as needing an immediate response would be fine with an appropriate response turnaround. Overall, we need to reintroduce a grace period for emails across many facets of our industry. If you refer to customer service response times for retail sites and apps, the majority don’t have real-time support available — and those are typically much more timely scenarios then the client request you are likely dealing with deemed “urgent.”

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I have witnessed many occasions over the last few months of pressure-filled situations escalating because of this and evoking stress for peers and employees, even within client teams, all completely unnecessarily. I refer to these as “fire drills” and they are frequent during present day. I have experienced this myself on many occasions, with extra pressure for turnaround time either being directed at me, an employee of mine, or an outside vendor, more than ever before. I had hoped the pandemic would have given everyone a new perspective, showing us how precious time truly is, how important it is to respect each other and maintain a healthy mindset within the world — but it seems many are instead more impatient, more anxious for results, hungrier to keep up with the competition and less respectful of one another’s time.

We need to remember that the job, the task, the request at hand will always get done. That is the biggest element to remember here. The result will get achieved if there is an ability for it to be achieved — so the extra push, the extra followup, the extra pressure, the increased deadline being put on one another will only cause extra and unnecessary stress, delays in the process due to frustration, added pressure, resentment, procrastination and burnout.

You may have noticed that social media has become very focused on ways to curb stress, offering continuous feeds of meditation techniques, workplace calming tactics and endless inspirational quotes. While I sincerely support all of these, and tend to follow many of them personally as a firm believer in affirmations, manifestation and meditation, they should not be a remedy for chain-of-command abuse and overstepping. They should not be flooding our feeds because we are experiencing constant “fire drills” at the workplace while performing jobs we love.

Many people holding positions in business — especially entrepreneurial positions — are in those roles because they are passionate and love what they do. I can bet the expression famously attributed to Marc Anthony, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” holds true to 99% of those reading this article, as well as 99% of those I deal with in the industry daily, so there is no reason why any of us do not want to achieve top results.

At the end of the day, putting forth your best is all you can do, and this includes being able to manage many things within a day. Depending on your field of work within the business community at large, tasks require time and attention to be completed properly. Tasks require proper time and attention to yield results. Tasks require time and attention to meet client goals and expectations. The real goal is always to exceed those expectations.

I hope that the takeaways from this article help get us back on a path to inter-office respect, where clients understand proper time is needed for focus and to yield proper efforts, that pressuring for a quick response and turnaround time is not going to benefit the business in the long run. Proper deadlines should be relayed to allow time and planning for these proper results.

When time is respected, meaning your teams can calmly analyze scenarios, their tasks to be completed and their plans to complete those tasks, I can assure you the results will be far better than when a pressure cooker is placed on the situation for no reason other than this newfound need for — almost an addiction to — receiving an instant response.


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