Advantages and Disadvantages Of Text Messaging In The Workplace
Today, communication in the workplace has become very simple and fast because there are actually several options that company-members can use to communicate like emails, instant-messaging, mobile-phones, video-conferencing and a lot more. However, in this article I’m specifically featuring the use of text-messaging as a form of communication at the workplace and today there are actually several instant-messaging applications that have been developed inorder to improve on the way we communicate daily. On the other hand, instant-messaging apps allow employees to communicate in real-time without disrupting the surrounding work-environment and this has actually helped to improve on the effectiveness of employees. All in all, although text-messaging offers several advantages to a workplace, it also has some disadvantages that can highly affect the performance of employees at the workplace. So, below are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you will need to consider before allowing your employees to use text-messaging as a form of communication at the workplace.
Advantages of text-messaging in the workplace:
- Easy and fast communication at the workplace: Text-messaging apps actually facilitate for instant or real-time communication at the workplace and this means that company employees will be able to communicate easily and faster than never before. On top of that, instant-messaging will enable companies to handle their clients faster thus improving on the efficiency and effectiveness of doing business. This in-turn enables businesses to work on more clients and in a short period of time thus leading to an increase on profits made by a company.
- Text-messaging apps can be easily used on computers or Smartphones: text-messaging apps are actually very versatile whereby they can be easily accessed from a computer, Smartphone or ipad when at the workplace thus facilitating for more efficient communication within a company. In fact, this implies that a company won’t have to install extra technological-equipment for text-messaging because employees can actually use their Smartphone or ipads to gain access to text-messaging platforms.
- Text-messaging doesn’t cause disruption at the workplace: with the use of text-messaging at the workplace, you won’t hear anyone whispering or shouting when communicating like when using a telephone. In fact, employees will be able to quietly write text-messages using their computers or smartphones without disrupting the surrounding working-environment. So text-messaging has greatly helped to improve on the way people communicate at the workplace without making a lot of noise thus leading to a more conducive working-environment. All in all, Text-messages are very advantageous in the workplace because they can be sent and received silently compared to other methods of communication.
- Text-messaging saves time: with the use of text-messaging in the workplace, employees will be able to communicate with each other instantly and this actually saves them a lot of time that would have been spend on making a call or moving to communicate with the other person in the office. On top of that, instant-messaging will even save employees from travelling long-distances for business-meetings since most messaging-platforms today support voice and video conversations.
- Text-messaging facilitates for real-time interaction: unlike e-mails where you first download messages from the server, with text-messaging platforms you receive messages instantly without waiting for any downloads and this actually saves employees a lot of time when communicating. Additionally, with text-messaging platforms companies no longer have to acquire servers for communication-purposes like in the past thus saving them a lot of money and time.
- Reduced security-issues when communicating (reduced-spam): with text-messaging platforms, employees will receive less unwanted messages from hackers compared to using email-services. This has actually helped companies to communicate safely with their clients and even carryout transactions securely without any attacks from hackers like in the past. All in all, text-messaging has helped to reduce on fraud-issues within companies than in the past when companies used emails.
- Facilitate for group-discussions: although text-messaging platforms are mostly used for two-way conversations, there are actually some messaging-platforms that can offer conferencing-services and group-discussions so that people can easily meet online and discuss about important issues without even travelling. In fact, Text messages can be sent in a conference-form whereby a group-chat can be set-up inorder to allow several employees to communicate at once thus facilitating for efficient communication within a company than in the past.
- Text-messaging apps enable employees to organize their contact-lists by groups: with text-messaging platforms employees can easily separate their contacts by business, family and friends. In fact, text-messaging platforms will even enable someone to hide a contact-group that is not business-related. This is actually a very important feature because it allows employs from accidentally inviting friends or family-members into a business-related chat.
- Text-messages can be saved or stored for reference in the future: text-messages can actually be easily saved inorder to facilitate for further reference of a conversation a company-employee had with a client if the need arises. This actually helps to save companies from serious issues with clients when doing business. Additionally, companies can even exchange transaction-information with clients easily while using text-messaging platforms and then save that data for future reference and this actually saves them a lot of money that would have been spent on installing data-storage servers.
- Text-messaging is cost-efficient: with text-messaging platforms, employees can easily communicate with clients abroad without the company paying extra-charges like when making international-calls with a telephone. In fact, shipping-companies and freight-brokering companies have greatly gained from the reduced costs associated to using text-messaging platforms.
Disadvantages of text-messaging in the workplace:
- Miscommunication can easily happen: with text-messaging platforms, you can easily communicate a wrong message in a very short period of time as long as you hit the send-button. For example, an employee can accidentally send a message to his/her boss yet such a message was intended to be sent to another person. This can actually cause serious problems at the workplace and some employees have even lost their jobs due to text-messaging miscommunication.
- Text-messaging is impersonal (eliminates human-interaction): another great disadvantage of using text-messaging at work is that is takes the human-element out of the conversation. In fact, it’s very easy to send and receive text-messages but there is no emotion portrayed while communicating. so, you with text-messaging you won’t notice any body-language signs, make eye-contact or even get a chance to smile with the person your communicating with but you will instead type words and characters and send them to the person your communicating with. All in all, text-messaging eliminates creative-collaboration between employees when at the workplace and this somehow affects the company’s productivity-levels.
- Misinterpretation of messages: while using text-messages in the workplace, an employee can easily misinterpret messages sent by the another employee or client and this can actually lead to serious issues within a company especially if a loss occurred due to misinterpretation of messages. All in all, misinterpretation of messages can greatly affect the performance of employees at the workplace.
- It’s hard to track unsecure conversations within the company: another big-issue with using text-messaging platforms at work is that it’s very hard to track unsecure conversation between employees and this can actually cause serious problems within the company. In fact, some text-messaging platforms don’t save conversations and even users can decide to delete text-messages after having a chat which is not a good thing in case something bad arises within a company.
- It’s very easy to get obsessed with text-messaging: it’s actually very easy for employees to get addicted to text-messaging platforms like whatsapp and facebook. In fact, most companies are facing a problem of employees spending most of their time chatting with friends and family whereby this affects the productivity-levels of employees hence affecting the company’s performance in the long-run.
- Employees can easily get interrupted by text-messages: when at the workplace, employees can easily get interrupted by text-messages coming in from other individuals. In fact, some employees make instant-messages more of a priority than work-tasks and this actually leads to low-levels of productivity at the workplace than in the past when people used to communicate directly. Additionally, emotional relationships between co-workers can be accelerated with the use of text-messaging platforms at the workplace and this greatly reduces on the company’s productivity-levels in the long-run.
- Text-messaging requires both parties to be active inorder to work effectively: with text-messaging platforms, both parties should be actively available-online and participating for effective communication to take place. In fact, if one person is not available on the chat then the text-messages sent by other person won’t be able to be seen in real-time. For example, if you’re using a text-messaging platform to carry-out a group-discussion while at the workplace, some employees who are not connected to the platform will miss out on what is being discussed. In fact, you can’t start a strategic group-discussion if only 10-percent of your employees are using a text-messaging platform.
- Companies can’t rely on emails only for communication: although text-messaging is an instant and great way to communicate within a company, it’s not the best way to share company-information or advertise widely. This means that companies have to look for other communication-ways to spread advertisements because text-messaging systems can’t do that task well. However, text-messaging platforms can easily replace internal email-services if properly integrated into a company.
- Text-messaging platforms are not universal (proprietary software’s): text-messaging platforms will only let you send or receive messages from another person if they are using the same text-messaging program or instant-messenger. This can actually be a big-problem for companies because different employees are attached to different text-messaging programs and this implies a company will have to convince all its employees to use the same text-messaging platform inorder to achieve effective communication at the workplace. In fact, it’s not that easy to convince someone to use something that they don’t like or haven’t used before and this means that some employees may still fail to use a text-messaging platforms suggested by the company hence hindering effective communication within a company.
- Text-messaging can’t be used for communicating large amounts of data: text-messaging platforms are actually designed to facilitate for communicating short-messages instantly and they can’t be used to efficiently communicate large-amounts of information. Instead, an e-mail or phone-call will work best in case you want to communicate a lot of information to your employees. In fact, using an e-mail or phone-call will even enable employees to clearly understand what should be done compared to using text-messaging programs.
- Employees can easily misuse text-messaging programs: with the use of text-messaging at the workplace, employees can easily be tempted to text friends or loved-ones during working-hours and this greatly affects their productivity at work. In fact, today, most companies have reported a decline in employee productivity due to the usage of text-messaging services like facebook and whatsapp at the workplace whereby this has affected the performance of different companies in the long-run. So, some companies have put in place rules to follow when using text-messaging programs at the workplace inorder to improve on the performance of their employees.
- Some text-messaging platforms can be easily attacked by viruses and hackers: some text-messaging platforms can easily be attacked by hackers. For example, facebook-messenger can be easily accessed by hackers and this means that you need to be extra careful about the information you receive and send on this platform. In fact, if an employee accidentally shares sensitive company-information with a wrong person on text-messaging platform, then this could greatly compromise the current-state and future-plans of the company. On top of that, some text-messaging platforms can be easily attacked by viruses but this can be solved by installing an anti-virus onto your computer or Smartphone.
- Text-messaging is taken to be unprofessional to some serious business-partners: text-messaging is often considered to be an unprofessional way to communicate by some serious business-people. This is because some employees tend to send text-messages written using slangs or shortened-words and this can be confusing and unprofessional to certain company-clients. So, some companies prefer using phone-calls, video-chats and emails to communicate with their clients when doing business.
Conclusion: using text-messaging as a form of communication at the workplace is actually a great thing but it should be done alongside phone-calls and e-mail services for best results. In fact, if you notice that your employees are acting responsibly and efficiently while using text-messaging programs, then consider integrating text-messaging services into the workplace inorder to improve on communication.