The workplace is always evolving.
This means that the way things ran just a few years ago might not flow as smoothly now. More importantly, new types of media and communications may start replacing the workplace communication trends of years past. Of course, if you’re not careful, your company may be left in the dust as new technologies come into play and other businesses move away from the hardware, software and other tools to which you have become accustomed.
Even if you aren’t planning on making any changes at the moment, it’s always important to be aware of changes in communication trends.
Here are some of the workplace communication trends that are hot right now, as well as a surprising technology that is falling into disfavor at work:
Email on the Outs
Email has become one of the go-to communication methods for both personal and professional correspondence.
Unfortunately, that popularity has also led to it becoming somewhat of a chore to deal with at times. A recent survey revealed that up to 26% of employees think that email actually hurts productivity. Reasons given included the time it takes to sort through incoming mail, the difficulty in finding the details you need when email threads grow long and just how annoying and confusing group emails can be.
Unfortunately, most workers feel obliged to carry out these tasks as a part of their jobs. Some workplaces are implementing new email guidelines to help employees in this regard, making clear what expectations the employer has in regard to replies, dealing with email outside of work hours, inbox tidiness and other email details that employees might stress about.
Texting on the Rise
While it’s certainly not as professional as email, texting is certainly growing in popularity in the business world. It’s especially popular among recruiters, with nearly half of recruiters thinking that it’s okay to employ texts while communicating with potential new employees.
Texting creates a more personal attachment than email does, and so long as the unicorns and heart emojis are left out it tends to come across as kind of a “business casual” communication solution. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that email wasn’t all that professional when it first became popular either.
The important thing to remember here though is that the increase in texting is only true for younger portions of the workplace. Workers over the age of 45 are much less likely to use texting in any sort of official capacity than those who are younger. They also make more texts than phone calls per day and may spend up to half an hour of every day sending and receiving texts.
Mobile Is the New Knowledge
It seems like everyone has a smartphone and/or a tablet these days. Not only does this allow workers to benefit from a variety of apps, but it’s also leading a shift to more “deskless” employees who still manage to have all of the right answers.
As proficiency in mobile technology increases, more and more employees are finding ways to work in the field without being chained to a desk or enslaved to a computer all day. They can communicate, look up information and even perform complex tasks using their technology, resulting in a “deskless” workforce that now outnumbers “desked” employees by 3-to-1 worldwide.
Meetings Need a Revamp
One trend that needs to be corrected is a tendency for meetings to be more vague and less purpose-driven than they used to be. This results in employees who aren’t exactly sure what the meeting was about and certainly don’t know what they’re expected to do next. Talk about a productivity killer!
Pay attention when you have meetings at work. See if there’s a point to the meetings, especially in regard to directing employees into the post-meeting world. If you can’t figure out what’s going on, your employees won’t know either. Work on improving management-to-employee communication, especially when it comes to topics that are important enough to have a meeting about. If there’s no way to clear things up, you might want to refine your point before you call everyone in to talk about it.