Instant Messaging in the Virtual Office
Communication in the workplace is a key pillar of a successful and productive business. There are many benefits to be gained from an effective business communication strategy, and so it’s essential for employers to carefully consider how they and their employees will communicate during working hours. The great thing about instant messaging is that it is almost as instantaneous as telephone conversations and features the record-keeping capability of email messaging.
There are so many options for Instant Messaging out there, many of which are totally free! Systems like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, Slack, Flock, Google Chat and Discord and just some options. Instant messaging offers a myriad of benefits which overlap with the reasons why having an effective communication strategy is vital to your business. This just goes to show how much of an asset adopting an instant messaging platform can be.
Benefits of Instant Messaging:
Wherever your staff is connectivity
Depending on the nature of your business, some staff may work from home or out on the field while others are in the office. In this scenario, communication becomes that more important, as your staff need to stay in the loop with one another. Instant messaging allows your staff to stay connected with each other, regardless of where they are stationed.
The great thing about instant messaging is that you aren’t restricted to private chats. You have the option to also launch group chats, which can be highly advantageous if you have a team who need to stay in the loop. Likewise, if there is an announcement or message that needs to be relayed to everyone, letting all employees know in one sweep couldn’t be easier than in a group chat.
Being able to choose who you would like to communicate with is very beneficial as it allows you to only include the relevant people in a conversation. This is also particularly important if you want to relay a private (and potentially confidential) message to an individual.
Pair with Traditional Forms of Communication
If you’re on a call with a client and need additional information regarding a product or service, you can silently use instant messaging to ask others about the information you need without interrupting the call to speak to a colleague out loud. Additionally, if you’re in a meeting and need to send some notes over to someone (or even yourself as a reminder of what was discussed), you can do so there and then without causing any disruption.
Minimal Costs and Space
Instant messaging is a much cheaper alternative to long-distance phone calls, especially for businesses that see themselves having to constantly communicate with international clients or staff members who work remotely from a different country. Many of the instant messaging platforms out there are free to use, or at the very least, free to try and fairly cheap to run.
Engagement for All
Open lines of communication in the workplace create an environment that nurtures employee engagement. Staff are more likely to be engaged in the work they do, the company they work for, and the team they work with. This type of office communication software promotes constant, more informal and friendlier communication, which can result in more productivity and creativity.