While fast, productive, and efficient communication is crucial in the business world, many people keep falling short in this area. Even though the reasons could vary, it might be as simple as not using the right tools.
Fortunately, progress in technology can empower your employees to be more collaborative at work and achieve better productivity. One such technology, instant messaging (IM), has become very popular, not only with people but also with businesses. The great thing about instant messaging is that it's almost as instantaneous as a phone call and contains record-keeping features of email messaging.
Nowadays, IM apps are geared toward the work environment, allowing users to communicate and collaborate efficiently through numerous features that go beyond merely receiving or sending messages. Companies will soon realize that instant messaging is one of the best ways to boost business communication and collaboration.
What is instant messaging in business communication?
Instant messaging has become the buzzword of the 21st century, and it allows people worldwide to communicate with a simple hello. Compared to emails where you have to wait until the message is downloaded from the server by the intended receiver, there is no such thing with IM. You will get faster responses from clients, customers, or coworkers, regardless of your location. Nowadays, there are many apps, such as Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google, and others. You just have to choose an app that suits your business.
What are the benefits of instant messaging?
Let's take a look at some of the benefits of instant messaging in the workplace:
1. It encourages a friendly environment and connection among employees
This is one of the top benefits of IM. It provides a space for those more informal connections that generally happen around the water cooler or at the lunch table. Whether you work in an office or you are fully remote, people have become more comfortable sitting all day in silence in front of their computers. However, while this chatting isn't too important for business, those kinds of connection-building conversations help team members improve their work relationships. For instance, a simple chat can be mainly responsible for boosting employee engagement while decreasing costly turnover. Plus, introverted team members can chime in and feel included in the conversation.
2. It assists you in resolving questions quickly
Chat isn't only for informal conversation. It's an excellent way to get all quick questions answered or gather input from your team members without a ton of back-and-forth emails. Moreover, when employees ask a question, they will get a response from high-level coworkers, who they might not feel comfortable approaching in-person or emailing. IM can also be useful if you work as a sales or support call agent and require a piece of information quickly. Instead of putting your client on hold, you can promptly ping your team members and get a response immediately.
3. With IM, your team becomes more efficient
Instant messaging saves a lot of time because it's just it – instant communication. Speed is one of IM's best features over email because most people don't tend to check their email inboxes all day, but they are available through chat to answer a quick question or send a file. The conversation becomes more efficient with instant messaging, which isn't only temporary because you can always refer to it or review it later. According to the latest research, employees who used IM managed to increase their productivity by 21%.
Why should you use Instant Messaging at work?
By creating a business environment that's administrative and collaborative, instant messaging can boost team communication and productivity. Here's how.
1. Instant communication
In the office setting, the speed of delivering news is crucial, as the workflow depends on the employees' ability to ask for and receive information. IM provides you an opportunity to talk to your team members in real-time, without delays or emails. As long as that person is available, you can establish communication instantly.
2. Enhance productivity and efficiency
Apps like Slack, Flock, and Brosix use IM technology at their core and will be great for boosting productivity without compromising security.
3. People like using IM
Nowadays, people are accustomed to instant messaging apps, and they love using them. Considering IM is part of everyday life, most of your employees will feel comfortable messaging each other at work. On the other hand, instant messages, virtual whiteboards, and video calls can contribute to team-building activities. Or you can use this technology to have a virtual cup of coffee or share a meal with remote teams.
4. Saves money
It's no secret that small companies and startups need to minimize the costs just to survive. In many cases, instant messaging can help you trim operating expenditures and inefficient overhead.
5. Allows communication with remote workers
Remote working is quickly becoming a new norm for more and more companies. Even though keeping workers engaged is significant for any organization, companies tend to forget about remote employees more often than not. Instant messaging ensures all your team members, regardless of their location, have the means to communicate quickly and efficiently.
Is Instant Messaging good for business?
As we previously explained, instant messaging has already become one of the business world's trends since it enables workers to chat privately and quickly. Therefore, instant messaging at work is a great way to get the necessary information without the hassle of distance and time. As long as your employees are focused on work and aren't distracted or misusing chatting apps, instant messaging has a significant potential to improve interaction among people and eventually boost your company's productivity.
Is Instant Messaging at work right for your team?
Adopt the following strategies to make things work:
Keep in mind it's instant: if you are accustomed to email service, you have got into the habit of reading and checking your messages before sending. However, when it comes to instant messaging, people tend to react quickly without knowing what they want to say. So, double-check your messages before sending them.
Keep it business-like: even though you are using instant messaging tools, your messages need to be professional, polite, and respectful.
Don't get distracted: people want to communicate faster and often get frustrated with emails' speed. However, instant messaging imposes immediate response, and to avoid distractions, it's necessary to create channels for posts that don't require close attention.
Know the rules: if you add instant messaging to your business, make sure to create policies that will cover how this tool should be used and what information should be shared.
Keep to the subject: it might be tempting to chat with your coworkers, but make sure to stick to the topic.
Use IM for the right messages: while IM is great, it's not always a suitable communication channel. Instant messaging should be brief, while email is more appropriate for longer conversations.