Deep Work is a term coined by Cal Newport in his book of the same name.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy.

Communication tasks - email, chat - are often considered the enemy of deep work. Switching from documents to email to is considered a distraction. But communication is essential to the work, so how do we resolve this conflict?

We’re seeing this happen in apps like Slack and Front, which interleave app workflows into the conversation itself. Slack for chat and Front for email.

It’s feels like an new mode of work - I’m calling it connected work. Where everyone is talking, sharing context and most importantly - acting together. Connected work is high bandwidth communication and simultaneous productive output.

Many light workflows are best suited in connected work environments - moving tickets forward in a queue, approvals and signoffs, and responding to customer support tickets. All of these are enabled by chat interleaved with data and workflows from other apps.

Connected work accelerates the pace of decisions and information sharing in a team, and also fosters an environment of transparency. I expect to see more and more of our workflows becoming connected over time.