Table of Contents
What is Instant Messaging and how to implement it?
Implementation of Instant Messaging in Business
Advantages and Disadvantages of Instant Messaging in the Workplace
The objective of this report is to highlight the significance of deploying digital communications technology within organisational structures to ensure quick and simple interdepartmental, intradepartmental and external communications, which shall in turn ensure smoothness in the running of business operations and management, enhance business capabilities, employee motivation, resulting in additional profits of the business and overall organisational growth. This report discusses technologies of the likes of instant messaging or messaging in groups, discussion fora and workplacechatrooms. The establishment in question is EB Pearls, which is an Australia-based digital agency that helps in mobile applications and web development (EB Pearls, 2020). Communication across the organisation will be brushed up with the help of an instant messaging platform for the employees. According to Hanrahan (2018), being able to send and receive messages instantly brings an entire new dimension to work. Downward communication in the organisation will be used as a communication strategy for comprehension. The intended audiences for this report are organisational employees in operations and data science departments.
According to Baldikov (2019), instant messaging or IM is a real-time online communication method which is used to connect two or more people.Another more common name for it isthe buzzword IM. Its popularity has risen manifolds in recent years and there are more than seven billion instant messaging accounts or profiles worldwide as of 2019. Instant messaging can be deployed in the business spheres to connect vast numbers of people working together. Using instant messaging, they can send and receive text messages to and from each other and share files with each other within a matter of seconds, with the help of just a click or touching the “send” button on their mobile application. As of today, thousands of applications have been developed to use instant messaging even on the mobile phones and running such applications through mobile devices is called Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM).
Before actually implementing instant messaging for an organisation, it is essential to find out which platform, application or software would suit the business needs the best. Every platform has its advantages and disadvantages and no one particular platform can said to be perfect. Yet, one can be found which serves the business requirements in the best possible ways. According to Jaro (2018), following are the top ten instant messaging business apps for internal communications.
Skype for Business
Once the suitable platform has been decided upon, things become fairly simpler, but it is essential to keep in mind some do’s and don’ts- certain rules of instant messaging. Hanrahan (2018) has highlighted some of the best practices for businesses to follow while implementing instant messaging in their organisations. These are as follows.
“Instant” Messaging: Unlike e-Mail, where the sender may take ample amount of time going through what they have written and sending it once they are sure that there are no errors or use of unprofessional language and so on, instant messaging works “instantly”. So, double checking the messages for what the sender actually wants to say before they send them instantly, is a good practice.
Maintaining Professionalism Over Instant Messaging Platforms: Occasional use of emojis can be alright, but it is essential to see who may or may not appreciate receiving them. Also, the tone in the messages should be respectful and polite and the subject matter professional.
Distractions: Employees being under pressure to quickly respond to instant messages view instant messaging as the topmost drawback for businesses. The posts which don’t require immediate attention can be put into different channels to avoid distractions.
Knowing the Company Rules: An employee should be aware of their company’s policies regarding instant messaging and should stick to them.
Keeping to the Subject: Chatting must be avoided during working hours and messages should be restricted to the matter at hand. Chats could continue after the work is over.
Knowing When to Stop: At times, there may be a lot of incoming and outgoing messages on the instant messaging platform. One may be asking or answering a lot of questions regarding work. In such times, it is important to know when to stop and simply call the person(s) to send or receive information even faster.
Using Instant Messaging for the Right Kind of Messages: Messages over instant messaging platforms should be short and precise. For longer messages, e-Mail should be used. For discussing even more sensitive issues, face-to-face meetings are the best.
Communication is the spine of any business. Every business communication strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages. While it is essential to develop a strong communications strategy for a business, at the same time it is also important to look out for which strategy suits the business the best and which can do harm to it. This section will look at some of the pros and cons of instant messaging as a communications strategy for businesses and communications in the workplace. Bean-Mellinger (2019) has put forth some edges and drawbacks of using instant messaging in the workplace and they are as follows.
User-friendliness: Even the least technical employee would not face any problems using instant messaging.
Real-time Exchange of Information: It is faster than the e-Mail. As one hits enter to send a message using instant messaging, it arrives instantly on the screen and one and all can see it. e-Mail takes time to arrive.
Use on Mobile Devices: It can be used on mobile devices like mobile phones and tablets too, thus making it accessible anytime anywhere.
Simple Setup: It’s as simple as that! There is no need to line up meetings in the conference room at a given point of time. All everyone needs is to install the application on their devices and with one click, they are all connected!
Low Level of Security: The fact that it operates on a public network, instant messaging is less secure than other communication mechanisms.
Workplace Distraction: People can just “pop” into the meetings for as long as they need to be involved in them, or they can just go through messages which are important to them ignoring other distractive information.
Viruses: According to eztalks.com (2017), instant messaging platforms are susceptible to viruses and spywares.
Compatibility: Some instant messaging platforms can function within their own networks which requires employees to install certain software on their devices before they can actually make use of such platforms.
After completely analysing the requirements of the company and the different instant messaging platforms, it is recommended that the company deploys Google+ Hangouts or Troop Messenger as its instant messaging platforms for internal communication and Telegram or WhatsApp for external communication. The company should also set the seal on that all the employees follow the institution’s guidelines regarding instant messaging communication and stick to them. The company should also ensure that its employees follow the type of professional behaviour expected of them when they are using instant messaging platforms.
Baldikov, N. (2019). What is instant messaging? Your complete guide to IM. Retrieved from: https://www.brosix.com/blog/what-is-instant-messaging/
Bean-Mellinger, B. (2019). Advantages and disadvantages of instant messaging in business. Retrieved from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-instant-messaging-business-21284.html
EB Pearls. (2020). Company information. Retrieved from: https://ebpearls.com.au
Ewing, M., Men, L.R., & O’Neil, J. (2019). Using social media to engage employees: Insight from internal communication manager. International Journal of Strategic Communication,13(2),110-132. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1553118X.2019.1575830
eztalks.com (2017). Benefits of instant messaging in the workplace. Retrieved from: https://www.eztalks.com/unified-communications/benefits-of-instant-messaging-in-the-workplace.html
Hanrahan, L. (2018). 7 essential rules of instant messaging for business. Retrieved from: https://www.workplace.com/blog/7-essential-rules-of-instant-messaging-for-business/
Jaro (2018). Instant messaging for business: Your 10 best options. Retrieved from: https://respond.io/blog/top-10-instant-messengers-for-business/
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