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One year into the pandemic, the mute button has been the best (and worst) at work

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It’s only 2021, but we may already have the phrase of the decade: “I thought I was on mute.” Or perhaps it’s “Sorry, I was on mute,” or “You’re still on mute.”

For the past year, many Americans have lived and worked remotely, navigating Zoom calls and Slack channels to do our jobs, manage our kids’ school lives, and stay connected with friends virtually. 

There has, perhaps, been no larger symbol of virtual life in the pandemic than the mute button.

Think about the number of conversations you’ve had to restart because that dreaded red slash across the microphone icon was enabled, or, maybe worse, the work meeting where a “hot mic” led to an uncomfortable exchange about muting.



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