How advances in communication affect the workplace

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In the not so distant past, workplace communications involved formal letters, landline phone calls and conversations in the boss’s office. Today, however, thanks to advancements in technology, we are living in a world of endless communication methods; from instant messaging and video calls to online team management tools, such as Slack and Trello. Inevitably these advancements have brought about changes to working patterns and productivity. In today’s blog we explore these changes and the elements that need to be in place to ensure effective integration of these technologies.

Project management tools to keep everyone on track

Project management and workflow tools such as Slack and Trello are being used by more and more businesses to effectively manage multiple personnel projects. Project stakeholders can login at any time and check the real time status of a project or fire off an instant message for an update on a part of the project they wish to know more about. This helps to reduce project timescales with effective, collaborative working – no matter where the project members are based.

Flexible Working benefits both ways

Employees have so many elements to juggle daily, which can seriously effect productivity at work; from caring for children or elderly relatives to long-term health conditions or illnesses. Offering employees flexible working provides a two-way solution; the employee can manage their external elements and potentially reduce their absenteeism and the employer benefits from higher productivity.

There are also external benefits to offering employees flexible/ working from home. Not travelling to the office saves money, time and the environment, with reduced emissions from employees who drive to work or the station.

Ultimately, and maybe most importantly is the potential increase in job satisfaction. An improved work/life balance boosts employee morale, motivation and therefore output.

Video calling is the new face-to-face

Video is everywhere – it only takes a scroll through social media to see how many posts are dominated by video, and this video obsession is very much embedded in workplaces across the country.

There is an array of benefits to using video communications within business and most of them tie closely with offering your workforce flexible/ working from home privileges. Now face to face meetings are no longer required, this reduction in travel time, costs and emissions is allowed to happen.

One of the main and sometimes overshadowed benefits of video calling/ meetings is integrating your remote and office-based workforces to help increase team cohesion across the business. This is especially important in multi personnel project businesses – where weekly or sometimes daily communication is required to ensure projects are kept moving.

Employees can engage with a video call whilst they are off-site, at home or even in a different county, but as with flexible working and online project management, tools all require a strong and reliable internet connection – especially if connecting via mobile.

Not all communication is good communication

There is a plethora of benefits in introducing technology into workplace communication, usually centred around reduced costs, reduced timescales and improved project mapping. However, there is a downside to this ‘always connected lifestyle’ – some studies have shown a decrease in individuals’ productivity over the long term.

We all know how important a break is, but it’s not always advice we heed. Many employees never actually take a break because they check their emails or project status updates via an app whilst at home or on holiday – which can result in high levels of stress and potentially illness. Advancements in communication are also attributed to employees lacking in quality sleep, and a reduced ability to interact face-to-face with other employees and clients.

At Commhoist, we understand the importance of integrating technology into the workplace and the infrastructure that is needed to support this. We support our clients with right first-time mobile telecoms logistics to ensure an efficient service for workplaces and employees across the UK.

We wrote a blog ‘Are we losing the ability to communicate by communicating too much‘ which you may also find interesting.