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David M. Lay

A PC Geek has been serving the Waxahachie area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: How Instant Messaging Can Be Used to Improve Workplace Collaboration

Tip of the Week: How Instant Messaging Can Be Used to Improve Workplace Collaboration

Instant messaging is commonplace in today’s society. It used to be primarily for social interaction, but its success was so overwhelming that business professionals have implemented it into their daily communications. Although, despite the advantages that instant messaging can provide, you still have to jump through some hoops in order to bypass what it’s become; an immense annoyance.

A survey from BetterCloud and reported on by ITProPortal, shows that over half of users believe that instant messaging will become the new email in the office. When you think of how useful email has been for the business environment, this is an impressive statement. The problem, just like email, lies in showing users how to leverage best practices for their instant messaging solution, and managing perhaps the biggest downside of all: how distracting it can be.

If you want to improve your business’s instant messaging practices, try these tips.

Accurately Represent Your Current Online Status
Your team can’t reach out to you if they don’t know that you’re online, and the opposite is also true. If you say you’re online, and you’re not, you could be wasting their time, which wastes the company money. Be sure to change your status to indicate when you’re away from your computer or logged off for the night. This way, your team will know if it’s more efficient to contact someone else with their problems.

If It’s Going to Be a Long Conversation, Try a Different Communication Medium
Instant messaging conversations can often be confusing and misleading thanks to the difficulty of expressing context. It’s often better to just pick up the phone and call someone than it is to have long, drawn-out IM discussions. Or, even better, you can meet up and have a face-to-face discussion. This eliminates the need for IMs at all, and you can express yourself in earnest.

If You Have a Short, Specific Request, Try to Put It at the Beginning of the Conversation
If all you need to do is ask a question, then just ask the question. All you would be doing otherwise is wasting time. You need to be courteous and respectful of your colleagues’ time, as they’re likely just as busy as you are.

Take Full Advantage of Your IM System’s Features
Many instant messaging systems allow for several other additional functions. Therefore, you’ll miss out by not leveraging them all to your business’s advantage. For example, voice chat can be a great way to clear up confusion surrounding something, and you can add other people to the conversation as needed. Basically, you want to find out which features work for your business, and what its limitations are. Doing so lets you better help your team capitalize on the features and benefits of your IM solution.

By following instant-messaging best practices, your business will see greater productivity and enhanced efficiency. For more information about communications technology, reach out to A PC Geek at (469) 567-0181.



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