There has been a rapid growth in digital communication in the workplace in recent times. For example, companies have moved from phone calls and faxes to emails and chat. Even more, the advent of remote work and the need for collaboration has facilitated the use of new digital communication tools such as Slack and Skype. This kind of collaboration promotes open exchanges between coworkers and necessitates the faster transfer of information with amps productivity and cross-team communication at work.
Nevertheless, putting provisions to guide the open exchanges can be a bit challenging, the management is encouraged to put the effort in ensuring they set communication guidelines that will act to make sure the workplace has the best practice procedures to maintain communication etiquette.
Below are the ‘Dos And Don’ts’ of workplace interactions you should always keep in mind:
Do use digital communication channels to spur brainstorming sessions.
Digital communication applications tend to create nuances of informal contexts that promote stream-of-conscious discussions that are fun. Individuals within the workplace who engage in such discussions can build themselves with creative ideas since employees get to express themselves in most comfortable forms.
As a company, you put your public relations team in charge of organizing brainstorming sessions throughout the week. This will allow team members to share new developments in the industry and see how such information can be used to bring value to clients. This kind of session makes participants freer to share even abstract ideas.
Don’t lose the concept of privacy and confidentiality during the communication process.
You must be well informed of professional interaction protocols, and make an effort to keep confidential information private. For instance, managers should not scold people/ employees publicly. It is also essential that workers observe cybersecurity hygiene by not sharing sensitive information on any channel. Only appropriate and verified communication channels such as emails should be used to disseminate classified information. For instance, imagine an employee having a personal family problem?
As a privacy-conscious employer or coworker, you can offer your support or sympathy through a private message. This is very appropriate as it makes the employee less uncomfortable.
Do appreciate “busy-notices” and reduce unnecessary disturbance.
Ignoring the “busy notice signal” is a constant problem for employees within the workplace. It may lead to flooding someone inbox, with email notifications, or if it is a call, may lead to several missed calls. One of the best analogies to deal with this problem is making it practical to keep “knocking on the door” even though the door may be virtual and figurative. As an option, you can ping coworkers with a prompt like “Is it a great time to talk” question. This will help you to understand whether they are busy or not for you to proceed with your request or message.
It is important to note that nonstop notification can be a hindrance to deep work and focus, especially if the peersón is trying to carve for themselves silent and productive time at work. Many applications have the “do not disturb feature,” which they can use to indicate that they are particularly busy or engaged to prevent unnecessary disturbances.
Don’t use the digital communication platform as a substitute for in-person meetings.
It is critical that the messaging platforms do not take the place of in-person meetings, video conferences, and phone calls. This is because these other forms of communication are more personable and help to achieve more effective business communication. So regardless, of the convenience achieved by a digital communication application: real-time interpersonal interactions are mandatory.
Even though internet messaging is of valuable importance to any business, discussions of substance should still be conducted in person. For instance, a smiley face, or “LOL” cannot take the place of a true smile from the team.
Do not use the same emoticons you use with coworkers with new clients.
Content that doesn’t have relevance is noise. However, when content has context, it can be deciphered much faster. Emoticons help you to achieve context and inflection, by making what someone is saying to have that visual communication appeal. Emoticons can be very good with coworkers, however, to new clients whom you are trying to curve a relationship with. It is proper to limit emojis as much as possible because most clients would most likely prefer more professional communication.
So you should ensure that your tone of voice is attuned to the person you are speaking with, even if it is not a face to face meeting.
Digital communication within the workplace has broken down hierarchical boundaries because shorter messages have better and more immediate responses. Additionally, this communication has also promoted collaboration within the workplace. Nonetheless, akin to any new invention, there are best practices that should be followed to achieve even better value to the organization. This includes: Using digital communication channels to spur brainstorming sessions, maintaining privacy and confidentiality during the communication process, appreciating busy-notices, and reducing unnecessary disturbance.
Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that digital communication platforms are not a substitute for in-person meetings. Embrace professionalism and only use emotion when appropriate.