Texting, Email, and Oral Communication — When to Use Them in the Workplace
In today’s ever-changing business world, person-to-person (and person-to-group) communication has changed greatly due to technology, especially in the last 10 years. With the advent of telecommuting and handheld smart devices, texting quickly became the most popular form of communication in both personal and professional settings. Even so, it is advisable to have a communications policy regarding what types of communication are most appropriate for specific situations at work.
Texting is the most ubiquitous and surefire way to communicate with both coworkers and clients, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones. An additional feature is the ability to send messages to an almost unlimited number of people at once in a fashion that alerts most recipients without needing to sign into an email account. According to CallMultiplier, over 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receiving them, making mass texting an effective way to communicate to a larger group in a timely manner.
Texting works best for general work communication, as well as urgent communication, but there are situations that are better suited for email and/or oral communication. Items that you might want to be more permanently archived or confidential information should not be discussed via text. For most other communication, texting is an ideal means of communication.
According to Computer Hope, before texting became the primary means of task communication, email was the premier means of digital communication for roughly 15-20 years. Additionally, the ability to archive and keep records of task requests, timestamps, and official notations make email valuable from a legal standpoint. While most communication can easily be handled via text or face-to-face communication, email is a reliable means of communicating tasks where a written or formal record is desirable.
Oral communication in the workplace is fast, efficient, easily confidential, and the oldest form of communication in business. According to ProofHub, for a workplace with a high volume of tasks, oral communication should be used primarily for either non-essential or confidential information. Furthermore, online communication has the potential of being misunderstood, whereas oral communication makes it easier to read nonverbal gestures and intentions and explain complicated information.
Knowing when to best utilize different kinds of communication in the workplace can lead to not only more efficient work, but also better workplace morale, more individual work satisfaction, and decreased misunderstandings. Technology might be the fastest growing industry, but the best tool to use is the soft skill of interpersonal interaction.
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