Instant Messaging In The Workplace

Communication in the workplace is massively important for a business to run successfully and efficiently. Sometimes it can be difficult to have your staff members communicate to a level that you feel is necessary. It’s obvious the best and most traditional way of interacting with staff members is through the good old-fashioned way of talking to someone in person. However, your colleagues are not always located close by. In this day and age, it isn’t unusual for employers to employ staff on the other side of the world – even if they are only a small business. This is where Instant messaging (IM) can be of some benefit.

So, what are the benefits?

For 20 years the most common, non-verbal way to communicate in a business is via Email. While this form of communication is still viable, IM is beginning to replace email in many areas.

The most obvious benefit is the speed at which messages are received, hence the name. As long as the network you are connected to us up to standard, messages are delivered instantly. Emails can sometimes take an age to be delivered as it travels across multiple servers before it reaches your own. These servers can be overloaded with mail, spam or other tasks which can slow the whole process down.

IM is great for sending large files, most email services limit the file size a user can send/receive to around 25mb. Some IM services allow up to 5GB or more.

Sometimes it may not be necessary to send a formal email if you have a simple question, for example asking a colleague for a solution to a problem you are having. IM provides an informal way to discuss particular agendas, this can save time and increase work productivity.

Slack

Slack is a commonly used messaging service used by businesses ranging from the small to large organisations.

Everybody has been talking about Slack recently and seems to be used by every firm out there. With 8 million daily users and 3 million paid users Slack is quickly becoming the standard internal messenger service for companies, however, they are most common across Tech and media companies.

Slack is built specifically for businesses, therefore, provides a number of useful features companies find appealing. Messages are organised in varies channels which can be named depending on the area of discussion, this allows all communication to live in one place.

SLACK allows for integration with over 1,500 web services, many most of us we already use. They include Wordpress, Dropbox and Google Drive. The Dropbox plugin allows you to import files into Slack so you can share your work, get feedback, and collaborate with your team.

Other useful IM services

  • Google Hangouts
  • Adium
  • Spark
  • Jabber
  • Yahoo! Messenger

As technology constantly advances and becomes more affordable it makes sense for firms to take advantage by integrating these technologies within their businesses.

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