Poor communication is the scourge of many workplaces. In fact, according to David Grossman’s report “The Cost of Poor Communications” inadequate communication costs companies with 100,000 or more employees $62 million per year, while companies with 100 or less staffers are losing out on average $420,000 per year. Cumulatively, communication barriers lead to $26,041 in productivity loses per employee. Yet while ineffective communication plagues companies big and small, many continue to rely on Skype, email, and other tools that simply aren’t up to task.
More and more communication is digital and it’s hard to overestimate its importance or prevalence of electronic communication. Consider that the average office worker receives over 120 business emails and sends roughly 40 emails per day. While email is a powerful tool, it can be clunky, slow, and disorganised. Unsurprisingly, Carleton University researchers found out that people spent roughly 17 hours per week reading work emails in the office and at home!
By using communications tools designed specifically for business, companies will be able to increase productivity and ultimately profitability. Three of the most popular business communication tools include instant messaging programs, workgroups, and internal social media networks. Each offers its own unique advantages and drawbacks, depending on the company and situation.
Whereas email facilitates the exchange of information, instant messaging encourages real-time dialogue. IM platforms also encourage people to share their availability and status. Further, compared to traditional communication, IM makes it easy to quickly ask questions, which is vital for people working interdependently on projects.
However, simple group chat programs can be ineffective for larger organizations. The chat threads grow too numerous and disorganized for people to follow. Discussions get noisy/off topic, important information is buried, and as a result, employees start to tune out. In a worst-case scenario chat programs can be detrimental, actually slowing down communication.
Group chat platforms have been found to solidify formal, working relationships, allowing managers to keep employees on task, to know who’s at work, and to create a healthy distance between managers and employees. Workgroups improve upon this, allowing for more granular organization and control.
Let’s consider an example. Say an advertising agency has various teams working on different tasks. One team does web development, another team takes care of inbound content, while another is doing commercials and video, etc. Each team will need to coordinate internally to complete projects.
At any given time, multiple teams could also be working together on the same project, say building an advertising campaign for a client. Organizing communication at both the team and project level can be difficult with a simple chat program. However, setting up workgroups for both for specific teams (i.e. web development) and specific projects would enable effective communication at both levels.
In the past, email was probably the most common tool for such random communication. However, inboxes can get cluttered, email systems can be clunky, and as a result, email is often time consuming. In fact, McKinsey has found that employees waste as much as 20% of their workweek searching for internal information and tracking down employees via email.
There’s no one right approach to organizing internal communications. However, there is a one-size-fits-all solution: Bitrix24. Rather than limiting ourselves to a few tools, we offer a complete portfolio. With Bitrix24, you can stick to instant chat and email, or you can create workgroups or even an internal social media network. Bitrix24 also offers a plethora of other tools, such as document management and powerful calendar.