Technology affects how most of us communicate in nearly every aspect of day-to-day life. We can keep up with old friends through social media, video chat with family from across the country and order coffee and food without ever having to speak to any humans face to face.
While all the above is nice to have at home, it’s essential at work. In today’s workplace, technological advances have totally transformed business communication. But in order to reap the full benefits, you need to know how to take advantage of these rapidly evolving communication trends.
How technology has changed the workplace
While business communications used to take place through formal letters or a conversation in the boss’s office, today’s messaging is delivered almost instantly. Tasks can be assigned and tracked by computers, and coworkers across the globe can collaborate across multiple channels and time zones easily.
Here’s why these types of modern workplace technology matter, and how to embrace them.
Business communication and collaboration
Traditional communication channels like mail, telephone and fax left people playing phone tag or waiting around for responses. Thanks to modern technology, you can conduct most business communications in real time, whether through an instant-messaging app or video conference on your laptop.
There are thousands of tools to make communication more efficient, both internally and externally. For example, you can use Slack channels to create one convenient hub for internal teams to brainstorm and collaborate. Externally, Slack Connect lets you chat with external partners, vendors or customers without sacrificing security or convenience.
There are now innovative communication channels designed to improve organization, optimize workflows and boost efficiency. Project management systems keep projects moving on schedule and automatically raise red flags if a task gets off track. Online documents and worksheets empower groups of people to work on and edit documents, drastically cutting down on wasted time summarizing and sharing revisions, and ensuring you always have the most recent version.
Workplace technology makes it possible to automate recurring and monotonous tasks. This reduces human error and lets employees focus on more brain-demanding creative objectives. Sophisticated collaboration tools give instant access to applications, assets and documents without having to search through email chains or bother a coworker to find information. While this may seem trivial, it can end up saving you and your employees a lot of valuable time. In fact, an IDC study, “How Slack Adds Value for Every Department in Your Organization,” found that implementing an instant-messaging tool like Slack can reduce emails by 32% and cut meeting time by 23%. Think of what could be accomplished with all that free time!
By automating administrative tasks and recurring operational duties, workers are better able to focus on higher-level functions and have more uninterrupted work periods. Without so many distractions, work can be completed faster and delivered to paying customers on shorter timelines. This increase in speed can be a huge competitive advantage, boosting customer satisfaction and driving additional revenue for your business.
Advancements in cybersecurity technology have made it possible to safeguard your business data while still enabling employees to access critical applications and information quickly and from any location. Firewalls, anti-malware software, secure password generators and more can keep your organization secure while streamlining operations.
The global pandemic has shifted much of the workforce to a remote-work model. When your employees aren’t all in the same office, it can create communication challenges if you don’t have the right tools in place.
Instant-messaging platforms such as Slack can break down departmental silos, foster stronger coworking relationships and enable teams to deliver cohesive work without missing a beat. In fact, according to 2020 survey responses from weekly Slack users in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada, 91% reported an improved ability to work remotely after adopting the tool.
How to optimize technology in the workplace
The key to optimizing workplace tech is to have a clear grasp of your business vision and goals. If you want to increase employee accountability and cut down the time it takes to deliver assets to clients, look at investing in project management software. If you want to keep remote employees engaged, aligned and productive, go with a collaborative, multipurpose messaging platform like Slack to help get you there. It’s all about identifying your biggest pain points and investing in the tools that will help you reach your unique business goals.