Essential Business Communication Tools in The Workplace
Statistics indicate that about 25% of employees’ working hours are focused mainly on email-related tasks. Some groups believe that is too much time committed to one business communication tool when others are more efficient and provide more coverage. As you mull over that, what do you make of business communication tools in the modern workplace? Do you fall among the group of people who believe these tools are overrated? Please read to the end of this article for more details on the essence of business communication tools.
- Collaboration tools
It is easy to explain collaboration tools, but the more complex aspect is knowing how to characterise them. Collaboration tools are modern business inventions that enable employees to work with a common purpose. It eliminates the concept of working in silos and instead creates an environment that promotes cross-departmental functions.
An advantage of investing in collaborative tools is the flexibility it offers in aligning employees working geographically apart. This is vital in multinational companies with branches located on different continents. They share a standard digital interface or online dashboard that allows them to work without being left out of the loop with collaborative tools. Although collaborative business communication tools enhance the work among multinational companies, they are better for small project teams. Some examples of collaborative tools are Google Hangouts, Slack, Fuze and Microsoft Teams.
- Business telephone system
Telephones are more traditional communication tools in the office setting. However, with technological advancements, the office phone system has transcended the more conventional methods. Indeed, you are unlikely to walk into an office and not see telephone systems. They promote internal and external communication while ensuring that work is carried out as it should. Depending on the type of office telephone you desire for your business, your employees can rely on it to monitor and track project results with colleagues.
- Task and project management tools
Usually, managers and C-Suite executives are left out of project tracking processes in the workplace. Without tracking and monitoring, it is pretty daunting to make corrections in the initial stages. Usually, they will have to wait until everything is done before making assessments. With office task management tools, this becomes easier and even convenient. Although some professional groups see it as a borderline micromanaging tool, the overall objective trounces on these minor perceptions.
Task management tools require solid communication features to function correctly. Moreover, because they thrive on the concept of organisation, visualisation and prioritisation, task management tools can be pretty confusing for first-time users. Even though these tools enhance real-time reporting, more modern types can be complex to adapt to. For example, a survey involving 8,200 employees in London discovered that more than 50% failed to use upgraded task management tools.
This was due to the complexity of understanding the new interface. Many admitted that the slightest difficulty in using modern task management tools compelled them to resort to older ones. Therefore, it becomes vital to ensure that all your employees are up to speed with your business’s task management tools. A few examples are Trello, Wrike, ProofHub and nTask.
An intranet is a software that allows employees within a specific organisation to access a secure network. This is very similar to how the internet works, but the difference here is that a non-employee cannot access the intranet. The intranet provides a secure platform for content repositories and always possesses high credibility. This is because information on a company’s intranet is known to come from a reliable source. Therefore, there is little room for fake news or unverified content. The intranet is best for searching information, asset management, and hosting online forums in the workplace.
Because it enhances internal communication, it helps to reinforce the brand and its core values. More importantly, it makes employee onboarding a simple process as there is an organised place where new staff can get acquainted with the company they just joined. Even better, the intranet connects employees across different time zones, which is significant for business.
- Video conferencing tools
In the modern workplace, video conferencing tools are a necessity. It is no longer the sole preserve of high-end business organisations. Moreover, it allows flexibility, ease of real-time communication and productivity. When a company has a centralised video conferencing platform, it becomes more convenient for employees to remain in touch even when they are away from the office. For example, companies with Zoom video conferencing platforms have the opportunity to pay for a sole business account on an annual basis.
This means employees in different locations can have virtual business-related meetings without the burden of paying from their pockets. Indeed, this may sound quite unwelcoming for the overly penny-conscious employer. However, it pays to look at it from a broader perspective. If your employees have to pay for official video conferencing each time there is a meeting, you can imagine how sparingly they will do that. Video conferencing tools allow your business to have pre-recorded training sessions and leadership updates for employee engagement.
- Mobile communication apps
According to a 2019 survey, office setting mobile communication apps are usually targeted towards younger employees. Although they are classified as business communication tools, the focus is to create a working environment that appeals to the younger generation. It makes work more ‘hip.’ Furthermore, 84% of the UK population has access to smartphones, making the office mobile communication app a viable business tool.
As part of its many advantages, it has a broad reach, portable, enhances social media engagement (vital for the marketing and publicity department), etc. Even better, mobile communication apps make sending urgent employee alerts easier than it’s ever been. The simple reason being, smartphones have a higher chance of being carried around than any other communication tool.
To conclude, you can run a business, but you cannot ignore essential business communication tools that enhance work regardless of its size. Even though some are paid on monthly, quarterly or yearly subscriptions, they are worth the resources you commit to them.