5 Ways to Communicate Digitally in the Workplace

Advertisements

In the 21st century, the vast majority of our inter-workplace communications take place at our computers. The internet has revolutionized the way modern businesses communicate; it’s made it possible for fast-moving companies to connect with internal and external persons no matter where they are in the world.

Whether you work from a fixed desktop, or are one of the growing numbers of individuals who work in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment, we’ve considered the advantages and disadvantages of the five primary methods of digital workplace communication to give you an overview of each.

Ways to Communicate Digitally in the Workplace

Email

Advantages

It goes without saying that email is the original form of online communication and for most offices, the primary channel of communication. The main advantage of email is that almost every individual has one – and you don’t have to be using the same server or email provider in order to communicate with one another, either. Appointments can be added to calendars to allow people to plan meetings both within and outside a business. Email also upholds its worth due to the fact that files and images can be easily transferred as attachments between accounts, and email accounts are often free to set up and use.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately,there are some limitations to email as a sole channel of communication, sometimes literally! Many emails carry a file size sending limit which can make it difficult to transfer large files or numerous attachments at once. Another drawback of email over instant messaging is that recipients must wait to receive the mail –which can sometimes get stuck in outboxes or delayed in sending. Furthermore, due to the high volume of emails the average office worker receives in a typical day, emails can be a form of communication that getsignoredin the churn or ends up unnoticed in spam folders.

Intranet

Advantages

Internal-only internet networks– also commonly known as social intranets –are beneficial for businesses with offices in multiple locations worldwide or different time zones, due to the uniformity of the interface and the ability to convey information fast. As an internal version of the internet, every user belonging to the intranet network will view content in the same way regardless of where the information came from, meaning that there’s less room for confusion when referencing certain areas of the network. Intranet systems often contain a host of features within their frameworks as well, such as libraries for file access and storage, noticeboards and project collaborating areas, to name a few.

Disadvantages

Because intranet is designed as an inward facing communication medium, it can be difficult to share any facets of this with people external to the business in times of need. Using intranet alone can make collaborative working between internal business teams and external contractors/service providers tricky.

Video Conferencing

Advantages

The clear advantage with video conferencing is the visual aspect. This is particularly useful in meetings where one person is joining remotely to a room of others who are there in person, for example, or when an interpersonal element of discussion is preferred, i.e. a team meeting or important client.

Disadvantages

Video calls require a dedicated area where participants can go to be undisturbed during the call, which can be impractical to organize, particularly if working remotely while traveling. Furthermore, having both the visual and audio elements to deal with can be fraught with IT issues due to poor connections or other technical issues.

Audio Conferencing/VoIP

Advantages

If your business doesn’t have a phone line (or wants to avoid large phone bills), audio-only conferencing and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling are a convenient way to make calls using only your main internet connection.

Disadvantages

Whereas a phone line is continuously connected, any outages in the internet service (such as a weak signal or broken router) would result in the inability to place calls. Furthermore, using an online connection (which can vary in strength and clarity depending on the received Wi-Fi signals), the quality of the call can suffer.

Instant Messenger

Advantages

One of the fastest and reliable methods of communication means that users can have “conversation-speed” chats for instant solutions to questions.

Disadvantages

Generally, individuals need to have the same IM server installed to chat. In the workplace, IM can also be distracting or even misused, as it gives users a sense of ‘chatting’ informally which may lead them to write things that could land them in trouble.

Advertisements

No comments.

Leave a Reply