Instant Messaging Might Be the Key to a Better Business
Email revolutionized business in the 90s. It actually created its own separate language, where meaningless phrases like “Please advise” can live happy lives. Right now, we could be on the precipice of another business communication revolution: messaging apps.
More recently, companies and employees have opted to use third-party messaging services for quicker, more personal communication between employees. Google’s GChat and Slack have become mainstays for employees to chit-chat and to get business done.
Is it right for your business?
Initially, desk job employees would install programs like AOL Instant Messenger to have side conversations during the workday, leading many companies to ban such software for fear that it was helping employees waste time. While that is the inherent risk of essentially allowing employees to text each other at work, there are key benefits in allowing instant chat communication amongst employees, depending on which app you use.
Newer apps, like Slack help you organize conversations into channels making it super simple for a group of people working on a project together to communicate and share files instantly.
It probably goes without saying, but there are a bunch of surveys that suggest that Americans greatly prefer texting to almost any other form of communication.
Providing your employees with an app that encourages them to communicate in a way that they’re most likely used to communicating in anyway can boost productivity.
Using a service like Slack also allows for easier communication with employees and collaborators that might not work with each other or at the same time, like remote employees or freelancers. According to research done by UpWork, a freelancing network, the amount of companies using freelancers has steadily increased each year.
Whether you use freelancers now or not, using hired guns for tasks like blog-writing and social media marketing is on the rise and has proven to be a smart way to handle certain areas of your business. Using an app like Slack can help make those contributors feel a part of the business and also makes them more directly accountable for their output.
The biggest benefit of using a service like Slack might be that it’s proven to reduce the amount of meetings you need to have with collaborators.
In theory, if a project is being managed through Slack communication in a specific channel, then a meeting is always in session. Colleagues can ask questions, post updates, make revisions and share ideas - all things we used to need to do in meetings - through the app without leaving their desks.
These chat services have moved from being a way to text people you work with to be a viable project management tool. All signs point toward more employees working remotely and toward companies continuing to rely on freelance work.
Using an interactive tool to aid and organize communication and to manage projects can only help your small business. For all the pitfalls inherent in allowing employees to text during work, it’s proven to cut back on time wasting habits of the businesses of yesterday.