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Advantages and disadvantages of digital communications in the workplace

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Setting guidelines for digital communication

By working with a solution provider you can be sure to receive appropriate strategic and technical advice as well as user training on the tools. As a starting point, companies should speak to employees to find out what communications tools they are already using and which ones they would prefer to be introduced into the work environment, then set some guidelines on how and where to use newly deployed tools.

It may be an idea to put some etiquette guidelines in place, for example –don’t send an instant message when someone is busy. Better to send an email, so they can read it when they are free. Inboxes could be decluttered by not sending files through on email but sharing documents over screen share instead, or by posting internal communications on Yammer rather than distributing these via email.

Speaking on the phone and face-to-face

Some businesses have introduced non-email days for employees for internal communications to encourage employees to pick up the phone and talk to each other face-to-face. This helps to build relationships and develop more social skills but it is worth noting that communications methods are evolving and that each employee is different.

Younger generations will instinctively choose to communicate through social media, IM and other forms that older generations may feel less comfortable with, and their preference is to make a phone call. Communication is about inclusivity, so it’s vital to make sure that tools and training are available to take everyone on the journey.

Don’t make the same mistakes the media did during the 2015 election

Users are in control

Inform your employees that they have the best tools available but this doesn’t mean that communications need to be answered outside work hours, or at the weekends or even on holiday.

Technology is only productive and an enabler if you manage it correctly. It is also important to remember that you are in charge of your own destiny so you must own the digital communications tools, and not let them own you!

Embrace the latest communications solutions but don’t become a slave to digital technology. Make it work for you and your business, and see the results.

Jonathan Sharp is director at Britannic Technologies

You don’t need to be a corporate giant to get digital right – these 30 growing businesses are adopting tech to help drive operations forward and earned the title of Microsoft Digital Champion.

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