Benefits and Drawbacks of Digital Communications in the Workplace

How many digital communications tools can you name? Surely, this list includes but isn’t limited to email, SMS, phone calls, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Twitter, and conference calls. With technology evolving at an incredibly fast pace, this trend can only continue.

Choosing the right communication tools depends on the tasks at hand, as well as on the type of message you want to communicate. It can also depend on the actual location of the parties involved in the communication. When sitting at your desk, you may want to use different means than when you’re on the move or working from a remote location.

How to Choose the Right Communication Tools for Your Business

The following tips will allow you to gain a better understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of the different digital communication tools, in order to make the best choice for your business.

Phone (Desk Phone or Mobile)

Advantages

The phone is best for communicating ideas or for long discussions on various topics. It has a rather personal touch and it allows you to express your ideas with more clarity than other means of communication. It also enables you to clarify points that could generate misunderstandings. Also, the phone allows you to have a friendly chat before talking about business matters. In this fast-paced world, this can be a great refreshment.

Disadvantages

The phone may not work for making resolutions at very short notice. It is possible that the person isn’t available, so you need to leave a message and to wait to get an answer or to have your call returned. If you’re in a noisy environment or in an area with a poor signal, you may not be able to use your phone at all. Besides, if you want to have a proof of what you’ve agreed over the phone, you’d have to record the conversation.

E-mail

Advantages

E-mail is the perfect communication tool to handle matters that need tracking. It is also ideal for sharing documents with a large team or group of people. You can manage your inbox from either your desktop computer or mobile phone. We can safely assume that e-mail is the most popular form of communication in business.

Disadvantages

Everyone appears to be using e-mail even when that’s not really necessary. This behaviour leads to filling up your inbox with messages you read once and then never need again. Furthermore, many people copy you in hundreds of messages that you don’t care about, flooding your inbox and making it hard for you to find those important and urgent messages that wait for your input. Should you overlook deleting unnecessary messages on a regular basis, you can easily end up with a massive inbox that’s almost impossible to clean. Thanks to automatic clutter filters, you can prevent spam from flooding your inbox. Nevertheless, it happens quite often that important and legit messages get caught in these spam filters. This is why you should check your spam inbox from time to time, and therefore spend more time managing your communications.

Instant Messengers

Advantages

Instant messaging is awesome, as it allows you immediate access to your team. Whenever you need an immediate response, this is the ideal method of communication. It allows you to see in a split second whether the other party is available or not, or even if they’ve read your message or not. This is the best communication way for quick questions that need fast answers.

Disadvantages

Some people overlook the ‘busy’ notice and keep sending messages that may disturb you. Fortunately, you can use your ‘do not disturb’ settings to prevent this from occurring.

Text Messages

Advantages

Ideal for quick messages while on the move, these messages are usually the way to get an instant answer to your queries. Who can resist checking their phone when they hear a new notification?

Disadvantages

People may forget to reply to these messages.

Video Conferencing

Advantages

You can address your queries to many people at once.

Disadvantages

It can be complicated to use.

Security can be an issue with many digital communication tools. It is a good idea to look at some cyber-security solutions for business.