I Didn’t Email Or Chat For A Week. Instead, I Talked To People IRL

For one week, I responded to all email and chat communication I received by getting up and walking over to my coworkers’ desks to initiate a verbal conversation. My approach was to pop up immediately and unexpectedly, like a G-chat personified.

Our very fast-paced office basically runs on email and various forms of chat, so this was definitely a surprise to most colleagues.

During the experiment, I felt that my days were much more dynamic, my work was more creative, I had greater concentration levels and I accomplished more. But I also most likely annoyed my colleagues. Evidence below.

But my relationships were also strengthened. Ditching computer talk for people talk inevitably meant work conversations drifted into other topics such as yoga, whether it’s safe to eat Chipotle yet, the broken prison system and how a young Fidel Castro looks like every dude in Brooklyn. I am truly convinced this kind of and edification and entertainment would never casually have happened electronically.

So in-person conversation takes longer than an email — especially if there was a digression — but the outcome was that I was either briefly bonding with a co-worker or our work-related discussion led to even stronger idea generation. The trade-off was worth it.

It was also the most I’ve ever enjoyed work!


I could read email and chats but respond only by walking to someone’s desk or calling the person. If I received a good pitch from someone outside the company, I would call them. In the morning when we work from home, I allowed myself some group responses in our Slack chat app because this is where we collectively discuss stories to cover — the basis for my team’s entire day, the foundation of our entire livelihood and existence. Can’t really mess with that.


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