Technology has a huge influence on the way people communicate in today’s digital workplace. Every year, there seems to be a new digital communication platform that companies are incorporating into their marketing strategy. Whether it’s a social media platform, video calls, and chats, or algorithms working behind the scenes, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve and be ready for new trends that come their way.
Companies that have yet to embrace digital communication and social media are running out of time. This is because a digital era has permeated our lives, and as new generations enter the workforce, it will only get harder to push against the digital craze that is taking over.
So what are the benefits and risks associated with this rapid adoption of digital communication tools in the workplace?
Here are TWO potential benefits you might see from increasing your use of digital communication tools:
#1 Ability to Create Global Relationships More Easily
Digital communication gives companies the ability to create relationships and connections across the globe in an easy and accessible way.
Companies looking to expand their reach and build their client base can utilize digital communication technology as a more effective and affordable alternative to print marketing. The ability to capture an audience on an international scale without language and time zone barriers was nearly impossible not too long ago. But now, with online translators and scheduled or automated capabilities, it’s as simple as a few clicks and keystrokes.
Digital communication also enables companies to have access to a global talent pool that can greatly impact the success of their organization. More and more companies are hiring remote workers, which allows them to hire the best person for the job, rather than the best person in their city. This also allows companies to cut down on overhead costs of big office space and spend those savings on driving their business forward.
#2 Improve Employee Retention
Digital communication has greatly impacted the growing trend of working remotely, which has been proven to improve employee retention.
With remote work, employees are able to eliminate the commute and start their workday faster. Remote work also provides employees the chance to operate in a work environment that suits them best, whether it’s at home, a coffee shop, or outdoors. Of course, certain rules should be implemented, but within those guidelines, your team gets the freedom to create a working environment and schedule that allows them to perform at their best.
Digital communication also allows individuals to be highly productive while also having some fun. Long-winded emails and multi-page reports have been replaced texts and chats with emojis and online dashboards with real-time tracking.
But What Are the Risks?
#1 Technology is addictive and it’s hard to “turn it off”
Going digital keeps people tethered to work 24/7. Most people have a hard time separating their work life from their personal life because social media and technology is a big part of both, and it’s constantly at our fingertips. We all need to periodically “unplug” and recharge our brains, and without setting clear boundaries this can be difficult to achieve.
To set clear boundaries, you need to talk to your team or company about expectations and create policies that promote a healthy work-life balance. Encourage your employees to maximize their “pay time” so they can wrap up their workday and focus on other things during their personal time. Employees should also have separate email accounts for business and personal in order to be more effective at work and to be able to “unplug” at home.
#2 Overlooking the importance of face-to-face communication.
The ease and efficiency of digital communication is very appealing, which makes in-person interactions seem difficult and time-consuming by comparison. One skill that leaders have to develop in today’s digital age is to understand the differences between digital communication and face-to-face communication, and knowing when to use each method. While digital messages are efficient, they can come across differently than intended, since there are no facial expressions, body language, or voice inflection to provide the tone of the conversation.
Digital communications are great for the exchange of factual information and a recap of conversations, but phone calls or in-person meetings are best for delivering feedback or to discuss things that might need a bit of debate. This helps to avoid unnecessary friction that may occur as a result of these communication tools.
Overall, digital communication in the workplace is here, and it is here to stay.
While we love the impact digital communication has in the workplace, we have to remind ourselves that technology is just a tool, and it can never replace the value of human interaction. For ways to put a personal touch into client relationships, check out our previous blog here.
Armed with the knowledge of what steps you must take to have your company go digital and how to keep the personal touch, your team will be well equipped for the future!