Technology is revolutionizing and changing the way we do business every single day. But perhaps the most important element that is changing is the way workplaces communicate. Employees now have better and more convenient options than ever before to communicate with each other and with clients, and that, if used correctly and to your advantage, results in greater productivity and understanding among your workforce. Here are four ways technology has drastically changed workplace communication.
1. Instant and Video Messaging
Instant messaging can be useful, for example, when an employee is on a phone call with a client and needs an answer they don’t have readily available. Instead of placing the customer on hold, the employee can quickly ask someone else in the office to clarify something and get a fast response to give the client. Video calls, with programs like Skype and FaceTime, allow your employees to communicate visually with people far away – across the world, even. These tools can be used to train employees in other locations or make sure everyone is on the same page before a decision is made, and they’re typically a whole lot easier to use, and even cheaper, than traditional conference calls.
2. Employee Management Software
With certain employee management software, like employee gamification for example, employees can receive feedback in real time so they can immediately adjust what they are doing to accommodate the wishes of other workers or their managers. Software like this also shows other employees achievements and leaderboards to encourage competition and productivity (be careful not to turn it too much into a contest, however, as that can damage the desire for teamwork). Employee management software also makes it much easier to train new employees, as these programs not only let managers give new employees feedback, they also support onboarding, which allows new employees to demonstrate basic skills and reinforces their training.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way employees work and communicate with one another. Thanks to files being stored in the cloud, they can be worked on at any time by anyone who has permission, and many services even offer real-time collaboration across great distances so long as everyone has an Internet connection. Permissions can also be set to simple access, so instead of having to dig through paper files or not having any access at all, employees across your company can view important files and remain on the same page. Cloud computing generally makes business communication more effective and streamlined by tearing down any existing barriers between individual machines, different departments, different divisions in physically different locations and business partners.
More and more businesses are adopting smartphones as the primary means for their employees to communicate with one another. Besides the standard texting and phone calls, there are a number of other things smartphones can do for your business, such as accept cashless transactions from anywhere and to use any specialized mobile apps your business developed or uses on a regular basis. Smartphones also make it easier for your employees to work from home in order to both please them and save on the heating and electricity costs at your office. Know the security features of the smartphones you have chosen to buy and have a policy of which ones need to be implemented by your employees.
Workplace communication has definitely gotten a lot more convenient thanks to new technologies, and while it’s as important as ever for your employees to have meaningful communication in the age of constant communication, new technologies can help employees communicate more often and more easily. One thing is for sure: new technologies and methods of communication are going to keep coming out, and so businesses will have to continue to adapt.