The Problem with an Always-urgent Workplace Culture

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9:00 a.m. WhatsApp message — Apologies for nagging again, but it’s super important I have that report in my inbox by 9:30 a.m. Will you be finished by then? 10:30 a.m. calendar invite — Urgent team catch-up on yesterday’s client feedback to discuss next steps – 3 p.m., Conference Room B. 1:20 p.m. Gmail — Do you have time for a quick call this afternoon? It’s really urgent. 5:00 p.m. WhatsApp message — Hey, before you finish up this evening would you mind going over those numbers with me? It’s crucial this is sorted asap! Thanks! 8:30 p.m. WhatsApp message — Hi, I’m so sorry to bother you so late. I know you’re out for dinner for Mark’s birthday tonight but that supplier FINALLY got back to me, and I need to run a couple of things by you before I can reply to them. Call me when you have 2 mins (maybe between courses?? lol) Thank you!! On an average workday, you might receive a series of texts, emails, and calendar invites that resemble the above. Can they wait? Probably. Will you reply to them anyway? Yes.

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