Communication In A Digital Workplace
Technology has greatly impacted the way people communicate in today’s digital workplace. It has offered broader reach and tools for employers and employees. According to Radicati, an estimated 269 billion e-mails were sent and received in 2017. However, along with the benefits of digital communication there are also downfalls which makes it important to implement a communication strategy within an organisation.
Problems with Digital communication in the workplace
A challenge with digital communication is that people are always “on”. Thanks to many platforms and devices for communication – internal workplace networks, Messenger, Twitter, email, LinkedIn and others, communication is constant.
However, finding a balance can be difficult. Digital communication is supposed to assist people instead of getting in the way of getting work done, especially when dealing with business partners or colleagues that work in different time zones. This makes it difficult for people to switch off.
Another challenge facing digital communication is how to manage the online workload. The number of digital platforms makes establishing what matters and what does not hard for employees and employers. It is crucial for companies to have a strong digital impact internally and externally, but many do not know how to do that and getting it wrong could have negative consequences.
Benefits of digital communication in the workplace
However, there are many benefits to digital communication in a company. It has enabled colleagues and associates from all over the world to collaborate and communicate faster therefore making them more efficient. With instant messaging solutions employees acquire an immediate response if necessary and knowledge is freely exchanged. They learn to adapt quickly their communication style according to their audience to reach colleagues or clients effectively. Understanding the person, you are communicating with is vital for internal communication. Not everyone interprets and receives information the same way.
Digital communication has also increased interaction by enabling to share results, best practices and other news. This type of sharing enhances employee engagement by making them care more about daily operations.
Strategies for strong communication in the workplace
For everyone to relate in the workplace, it is important to intently listen and engage with each other. Thus, internal communication strategies need to be implemented within a company by making clear and direct messages to be understood.
Companies need to encourage sharing information in a way that is of interest to the company by advocating face-to-face interactions. This can be done through inter-office, inter-department visits, secondments and placements internationally or nationally, and conducting objective meetings. Technology has been a way for businesses to do things cheaper and faster, nonetheless, relationship is an area you cannot skimp out of. The way we can “touch” someone is by building a relationship rather than just spending time with each other.
A way to promote strong communication is to have co-working spaces. This allows employees to exchange and bond with each other therefore, working closely together and learning new skills when trying to solve problems together.
It is also essential to modernise internal communication, especially in this digital age, to improve the organisational climate, change routines, shape new habits or to minimise misinterpretation.
Companies should find out what their communication needs are, and how it will help them meet their business objectives. To do that, employees are key. Leaders and managers should speak to them to find out what communication tools they are already using and which ones they would prefer to use to improve their work environment. Finally, guidelines need to be set up on how and where to use newly deployed communication tools. By understanding those needs, companies will improve the wellbeing of the company.
Opening a dialogue within the workplace and implementing internal communication strategies opens discussions and/or debates, allowing people to feel valued. Increased employee engagement and internal communication creates an organisation that knows about their workers and more importantly workers that know about their organisation and common objective.