Human communication

The new era of workplace communication could be instant messaging


Although email has been the primary form of communication for only a few decades, employees are turning to other forms of communication to collaborate with their colleagues.

Prior to the mid-1990s, email was a relative novelty in office communication. Today, of course, it is perhaps the most used way for colleagues to communicate with each other. But although it has been the primary method of communication for just a few decades, there are signs that employees are increasingly turning to other forms of communication to collaborate with their colleagues.

New communication channels

New data from Rocket.Chat reveals that most employees are questioning the dominant role of email in office communications, with 65% of respondents preferring to send messages and video chats to colleagues via a single, centralized platform rather than switching between email and another platform.

In addition, less formal textual communication, once used almost exclusively for quick points of contact with colleagues within the same organization, is also increasingly accepted as a means of external communication. According to data from Rocket.Chat, more than 70% of employees now use instant messaging platforms to communicate with others, such as vendors, partners and suppliers, proving that instant messaging doesn’t have to be. only internal.

Advantages and disadvantages of instant messaging

The Rocket.Chat study also reveals that respondents prefer instant messaging over email because of these three main benefits:

  • Faster response times (70%)
  • Easier to share / send files (52%)
  • More intuitive collaboration (43%)

This doesn’t necessarily mean that instant messaging is a perfect replacement for traditional email, far from it. The limitations and drawbacks of this medium are numerous.

On the one hand, it is likely that many businesses see instant messaging as too informal for business-to-business communication. Additionally, instant messaging platforms generally do not have the robust support for sending attachments, such as PDFs, spreadsheets, slides, and text files, that does support traditional electronic messaging. Additionally, established email platforms tend to be better at archiving past conversations for easy retrieval and tracking.

Despite the many advantages of email over instant messaging, it is clear that the latter is becoming an accepted and valued form of communication for internal and external discussions.

Have you introduced instant messaging as a communication option in your organization? What benefits could instant messaging offer your business and your employees?

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