Indeed, although communication applications the likes of Whatsapp, Facebook?and Skype have typically been used in a social context, in recent years such applications have gained popularity in the workplace ? bringing with them the promise of streamlining communications by reducing lengthy, and often confusing, email chains. Businesses adopt them with the belief that they will facilitate collaboration and keep employees and teams in constant contact with each other. But unfortunately, the reality is that employees are being subjected to an “always on” culture in which they are constantly being flooded with an endless stream of meeting requests, updates and alerts. As a result, a modern workplace malady ? “Communication overload” ? has broken out in offices across the globe as workers struggle under the weight of clusters of unfocused messages, which prove hurdles to efficient employee collaboration and declining productivity. Clarizen recently conducted a survey of 300 companies around the world to gain deeper insight into workplace communication and productivity. One of the most troubling findings was that only 16?per cent said that productivity levels were “Excellent”, which was compounded by 81?per cent saying attempts to improve workplace communication had not inhanced productivity. Any forward-thinking business is constantly looking for new ways to maximise productivity, so it?s little surprise that many have succumbed to the temptation to adopt a range of tools and practices that promise to boost employee communication. What our survey proved was that workplace communication apps often actually complicate employee interaction and hamper productivity. The survey found that in the past year, companies deployed one or more of the following communication tools to improve productivity:
Skype (39?per cent)
Microsoft Teams (14?per cent)
Google Hangouts (eight per cent)
Slack (seven per cent).
Provide a communication tool that ties workplace tasks to business functions and improves the coordination of workflow.
Integrate existing tools, such as Slack, with a more comprehensive collaborative platform that ensures communications align with tasks, deadlines, budgets and project updates.
Employ an end-to-end communication tool that provides full visibility across the full range of key deliverables, so employees can keep up-to-date, focused, while avoiding unnecessary catch-up emails, calls or meetings.
Adopt a system that automates project checkpoints and updates, so employees will spend less time following-up on and assessing what is going on and more time completing actual work.
Deploy a collaborative platform that updates information in real-time and provides holistic view of progress on tasks, resources, deadlines and other key deliverables.
Communication overload is a serious condition that is detrimental to true collaboration and productivity. However, it can be alleviated by ensuring all communication tools and practices employed in the workplace aim at efficiently exchanging information in a business context ? the result being more effective collaboration, greater business agility and, in turn, increased productivity. David Goulden?is product director at Clarizen [rb_inline_related]
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