I heard about Salesforce’s product, Chatter, as a means of evaluating employees a few weeks ago.
The product is supposed to add a tangible component to the intangible factor of employee chatter and tried to put an algorithm around influence. Chatter is hardly the only one trying to address an office audience. Yammer is trying something similar too.
Are we adding yet another source of noise around ourselves to make us busier than we already are? We maybe – according to one study an average corporate worker sends/receives 105 emails a day. It looks to me like we are over-communicating already.
Not to mention that instant messaging over Skype(or similar) is used over and above the emails. Instant messaging requires one logged on at all times to be abreast of the fast flowing message river. A few days away is enough to overwhelm the stoutest of souls when they get back.
What about influence: Does every job function require influence? I am not sure. I don’t think every single job profile requires influence around the office block.
Will products such as these affect the introverts in the office or help introverts since they can resort to technology instead of meeting people? It takes all kinds of people to contribute in their unique and creative ways in order to achieve something. Can we generalize and assume that only those actions with influence are important.
Ten years from now, we may have embraced the office chatter and influence algorithms for them to become a part of our daily lives, or it may not have gone well or we may have moved on to entirely different paradigms 3 times over.