Technology is constantly changing in all aspects of our lives. One area where technology has really made a difference, especially in the last few years, is in the workplace.
Digital communication technologies have made it easier and faster than ever for people across the globe to connect to work and collaborate together.
While digital communication channels are certainly not new, their use has skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people than ever to work from home.
Although the world is slowly returning to some type of new, post-pandemic “normal,” the boom in remote work appears to be a phenomenon that’s here to stay. This means that using the right communication technologies for work is more important than ever.
So, we wanted to put together this article to highlight some of the different types of communication channels we’re using to get more done in less time — while working from anywhere in the world.
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Our Favorite Digital Communication Channels of 2023
Approximately 80% of executives say that video meetings are now their go-to digital communication channel for internal communications.
Face-to-face communication will always be one of the best ways to communicate at work, and video meetings allow teams working from anywhere to connect visually and verbally.
Why is video conferencing better than text-based or voice-only communication, you ask? Well, non-verbal communication cues, like body language and facial expressions, allow you to pick up on more and create more understanding between people.
Connecting visually also helps remote teams feel closer and can aid with team building, especially when your team consists of people all over who may never actually meet in person.
Verbal communication is the quickest way to express yourself, which is why we find leaving a voice mail message so much easier to explain things or ask questions at work — when text-based communication doesn’t feel like enough, and a video meeting would be too much.
Digital voice messaging is rapidly replacing the phone as the primary means of communicating verbally in the workplace. In fact, most people working from home don’t use a physical phone for work at all.
If you’re not already using a team communication app with built-in voice messaging, we recommend you start doing so as soon as possible. There’s nothing quite like being able to press record and send someone a quick voice note.
While video meetings are one of the top communication technologies for improving productivity, they can also become counterproductive if you overuse them, especially if you’re meeting via video conferences for every little thing you need to discuss.
That’s why instant messaging is an indispensable tool for improving communication and collaboration in the workplace.
Text-based team chat apps allow your team to stay constantly connected and send quick messages back and forth, which don’t take up the same time as meetings and calls do.
Instant messages are something you can review and respond to on your own time if you’re busy, as you can mute notifications or set yourself away when you’re working hard and want to eliminate distractions.
Although many emails are being replaced by instant messaging and other forms of digital communication, email is still a very important communication technology in the workplace.
For more formal communications, emails are still our go-to professional communication channel. This is especially true when we want to communicate with customers and clients or share attachments and major updates at work.
Keep in mind that email works best for communications that are not time-sensitive, as it often takes longer than expected to receive a reply. If you need a faster response from a colleague, it’s best to send them an instant message or a voice note.
Project Management Software
You might not immediately think of project management (PM) software as a communication technology.
But, considering the fact that project management software lets you assign and track the tasks needed to complete a project and lets others see this information, it’s one of the best ways to keep your team up to date without sending out emails or having meetings.
These types of PM software platforms also have built-in commenting systems that allow people to discuss certain tasks and next steps, making project management software one of the best ways to hold focused conversations around specific work items.
The final communication channel that we like using to make life easier at work is collaborative notes.
These types of online, cloud-based notes allow us to document important information, whether it be from emails or meetings, and share it with our whole team. Then, anyone who has something to add can contribute to the notes for more comprehensive documentation.
These types of notes are great for providing information to use for completing specific tasks, or just for summing up action items discussed with the team.
There’s no single communication technology that’s better than all the others. For the best team communication and collaboration, it’s important to use a mix of the communication channels discussed above. When you do this, you’re exploiting the strengths of each technology to improve productivity.