So I’m moving my goods along at the checkout. Blip after blip rings out as each item is scanned through by the checkout assistant. Excellent, we’re moving nicely. I’m making eye-contact, I’m smiling, I’m waiting for her to look back and ask if I need any bags—and eventually, the question comes…

Before I could answer, she had turned to her colleague at the next checkout and continued her conversation about their night out at the weekend. WTF!

No eye contact, no acknowledgement of me as a customer, just the odd interaction to complete my purchase. And then, the final act that sent me through the roof…

Handing me back my change whilst looking and talking to someone else. 😡

It’s the cardinal sin of customer service. It’s rude, disrespectful and completely avoidable. That checkout girl should have me as her single focus when I’m at her till, yet for some reason or another, she thought it acceptable to turn her focus to someone else.

And so too, with many online project management and team collaboration tools.

Killing Your Focus and Productivity

I remember as we were developing Tameday, that a number of colleagues wanted our chat functionality within a split window, so that they could work on their main tasks whilst responding to the various chats when notifications came through.

But I couldn’t agree to doing it this way. It would be the equivalent of telling the checkout girl that it’s okay to do other things instead of giving me her full attention. 

Yet so many online tools encourage us to multi-task, to ‘focus’ on many things at once in a drive to get more done—but multi-tasking that way kills our focus on what should be the one task at hand. If you’ve a report to write, you should be focused on that alone. If you’ve a chat with a customer, you should be giving them your undivided attention.

When you click a chat notification in Tameday, you’re presented with nothing but that chat window. You’re encouraged to give those you’re talking with your undivided attention—whether you’re in a group chat or dealing with one person.

And if you’re working on something else right now, simply don’t respond to the chat. Tameday encourages asynchronous communication—say what you need to say, ask what you need to ask, and let people get back to you when they’re good and ready.

More gets done this way. It’s respectful, it encourages people to focus on one thing at a time and it makes team communication much more efficient.

If you want to give it a go, the good news is that it’s entirely free to get started!

Tameday offers a free plan, but paid plans offer more storage and other goodies.