I got pretty irritated reading your article. I’ve been trying to figure out why.
Maybe my issue is with what you mean by “primary” means of communication. I think it means ‘First,’ ‘Most common,’ ‘Foundational.’ Is there anything wrong with group chat being the first place someone says ‘Hey anyone here know about this thing?’ The open-air watercooler forum.
Do I expect team members to be available to other team members while they’re working? You bet I do. Do I expect them to be 100% available? Of course not. Do I expect them to spend all day every day working focused on their main task and completely unresponsive and unconnected to the rest of the team and its informal discussions? That’s the guy I want to fire, no matter how much he gets done — he’s not on the team, he’s the exact opposite of a team.
I guess that’s why I’m irritated. I’ve known too many people who diss open communication forums with the team and just go off on their own and ‘get their work done.’ People who are very good at what they do, but what they do doesn’t involve teamwork.
No solution is going to be ideal, but just about all your issues with group chat can be mitigated, and group chat mitigates a lot of other communication mediums’ issues.
The first step to teamwork is communication. And by First, I mean Primary.