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Online Work Group Chats: Technological Advantages (Part 2)

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In part one of this series, when we spoke with industry leaders about their best practices for using online work group chats, we focused on the community and collaboration benefits of these tools. (If you missed part one, click here to access it!) 

In part one of this series, when we spoke with industry leaders about their best practices for using online work group chats, we focused on the community and collaboration benefits of these tools. (If you missed part one, click here to access it!) 

Online Work Group Chats: Technological Advantages (Part 2)

But today, we’ll shift our focus to the technological advantages of these platforms and what they can do for your business.

When Technology Makes Communication More Personalized

Most people assume that communicating electronically takes away any personal elements and benefits of communication.

However, as Teo Vanyo, the CEO of Stealth Agents points out, this isn’t always the case:

“Okay, so group messaging has nothing to do with Rice Krispies, but it is a snappy way to communicate. With group chat, you can quickly share information and get the answers you need in real time. Management can join in the fun by using group chat to share company news, training materials, and other time-sensitive information. It’s not that group chat will completely replace email, but it can help to speed up decision-making and maintain an engaging workflow in ways that email can’t. Group chat makes communicating with a large group of people incredibly simple and human.”

The Power of Real-Time Communication

We’re big believers in the power of real-time data, communication, and results. Whether it’s with the help of real-time polling or instant messaging, we know what a powerful asset this can be to businesses and groups of all kinds.

Curtis Lawson, the Managing Editor of Project Gunner expands on this point: 

“Real-time communication capabilities in team messaging applications enable colleagues to remain on track without scheduling ineffective meetings. Rather than convening a team meeting to handle a concern or problem, team leaders may simply ask questions in team chat streams and get the information they need without taking up an hour or more of everyone’s time. Each year, remote work grows more common, and astute business professionals use collaboration technologies to remain connected and save time regardless of their location.”

Michael Moran, the owner of Green Lion Search Group also adds:

“Group chats give employees who don’t work in the same office an easy way to interact outside of formal meetings. A text-based chat is less intrusive than video or phone calls, something they can just keep open in the background on their desktop while they’re working and stop in to ask a question, get advice, or just vent and commiserate about workplace frustrations.”

Online Work Group Chats vs. Emails

Many of the leaders we spoke with touch on the benefits of using an online work group chat as opposed to relying on email communication.

For example, Matt Bowman, the president of Thrive Internet Marketing Agency explains:

“I’d say that using group chats at work helps to have faster communication – questions can be raised and answered quickly than composing emails that have the potential to be overlooked. It helps with the real-time update of any projects you are working on. Along with other benefits, there are issues that it may encounter such as noise, lack of participation, etc. To maximize the use of these group chat platforms, employees or members should all participate in using it, use the group chat if possible only during working hours so that work/life balance can still be practiced, avoid using the platform for topics that are not work-related.”

To add to this, David Toby, the director at Pathfinder Alliance explains: 

“The benefits of these tools have quickly become obvious. Even in the early 2000s, researchers noted how instant messaging helped to decrease needless, back-and-forth phone calls and alleviate miscommunications. And instant messaging trounces email by offering immediate and clearer resolution to business concerns that may have lingered unnoticed in inboxes.”

Other Best Practices

Many of the leaders we spoke with also shared their best practices for utilizing these platforms with success.

William, the CEO of My GRE Exam Preparation shares: 

“One of our best practices is to split teams by creating a distinct channel for each project. This enables us to focus on multiple channels of communication as needed. With this, we have less clutter and workflow is more organized. At the same time, we remind everyone to:

  1. Speak up and have a thoughtful and relevant contribution to make in the conversation; and to
  2. Be open and respectful of feedback, even if it’s not the feedback somebody wanted to hear.”

Finally, Michelle Devani, the founder of lovedevani adds:

Set ground rules: Too often, being too comfortable with our colleagues can turn our group chats into a repository of memes, GIFs, and topics that are unrelated to work. The platform can be abused and used to bully or harass other team members. While there are many benefits to using an online group chat platform to encourage camaraderie and establish employee engagement, make sure that the platform remains professional and a safe space for everyone to use.

Respect work-life balance: Because instant messaging is instant, it may sound more urgent than receiving an email. Though this might be great when we need to reach out to our colleagues regarding important matters, there are instances wherein our messages can wait until the next business day. The best way to deal with this is to encourage team members to log out of the platform and honor their colleagues out of office status. Requests to team members should come with information about its urgency and must be straight to the point.

Learn more about using Swift Chat for your company’s work group chat today!

 

 

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