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Advantages and disadvantages of digital communications in the workplace

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Text messages for digital communication

Advantages:

Good for quick messages and answers on the move, and who can resist looking at their phone when a message comes through?

Disadvantages:

People forget to reply.

Video Conferencing for digital communication

Advantages:

You can speak to someone or a group of people in another location without having to travel. You can see people’s facial expressions so it’s easier to read reactions of people.

Disadvantages:

Without sufficient user training, video conferencing systems can be complicated to use. While some people still feel awkward using video altogether, millennials are very much at ease with the technology, so don’t be shy to ask digitally proficient co-workers for a few tips.

Audio conferencing for digital communication

Advantages:

You can speak to someone, or a group of people in another location, without having to travel.

Disadvantages:

Sometimes when a group of people are talking its hard to tell who is saying what, and also people may talk over each other, not to mention the fact that you never really know if people are fully engaged in the meeting!

Social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer, Google +

Advantages:

You can talk to a group of people and share information, advice and photos, and have discussions.

Disadvantages:

There are so many different social media sites that it can be difficult to decide which ones to use and to keep up with and they can become a real distraction.

The danger of analogue thinking in a digital business world

The digital communications mother ship

Looking at the different communications tools above we can see that they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly can be used for different purposes.

The answer is to connect them all together into one solution, which is known as a “unified communications” (UC) or “unified communications and collaboration” (UC&C) solution.

You will need to work with a communications solution provider to discover what your technology requirements are, and how the technology will help meet your business objectives, and then deploy the solution.

UC tools, such as Microsoft Skype for Business, Mitel’s Micollab and Avaya’s One-X are a good choice, as they enable you to use a soft phone on any device and integrate with the corporate directory. By making calls over the internet or a business IP network the calls are free of charge.

Video and audio conferences can be conducted, desktops and documents shared so email inboxes are not clogged up, instant messages can be sent and different and social media applications integrated. Other solutions are often available in conjunction with your phone system and will help you get the most out of your existing platform.

The crux is that these tools are all useful in isolation but together and used correctly, they combine into a powerful communications solution that will make your life easier and make you more productive.

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