There are many ways for people in an organization to communicate with each other. Within a unit, in-person meetings, emails, and instant messaging are perhaps the three most commonly harnessed corporate communication solutions. Email, PA system, and company newsletter, meanwhile, are best for addressing a wider audience.
In the corporate communications world, there is no such thing as the perfect communication tool. Simply put, corporate communication solutions have their pros and cons.
The following are some of the communication solutions harnessed in the workplace, and their advantages and disadvantages:
Perhaps the most widely used communication form in the workplace, the e-mail is popular because of its inherent advantages. One, sending a message is quick. Your message will arrive on your recipient’s inbox almost instantaneously.
Two, it is versatile. It can send large volume of information to both large audience and a specific audience. A HR memo, for example, can be relayed to all members of the organization. A project brief, meanwhile, can be distributed to select member of the organization such as the senior management team.
Email can also be retrieved from one’s smartphone or tablet. There is no need to be at your office to be able to check your email inbox. Lastly, it is easier to retrieve email messages later on for reference, because the messages are all stored in the inbox.
However, the email has its weaknesses. To say that it can be counterproductive won’t be a completely false statement. In the United States, a recent study showed that office workers spend a mind-boggling 6.3 hours a day just checking their emails. In the UK, the average office worker spends a quarter of the day dealing with emails.
2. Video conferences
With telecommuting almost becoming the norm in many offices, video conferences have become the tool for many remote teams. It is the replacement to the traditional in-person meetings.
The two most obvious advantages of video conferences are cost and convenience. With video conferences, firms no longer have to spend a lot of money on the airfare and accommodations of their workers. In terms of convenience, workers don’t have to leave the comforts of their home in order to meet with the other members of the team or organization they are part of.
However, there are advantages of video conferences. One is that people will miss out on visual clues provided by the body language of other people. Second, a fast and reliable Internet connection is a must for video conferences.
3. In-person meetings
The good, ole in-person meeting is slowly becoming obsolete what with the emergence of virtual teams, but communication experts say it is still the most effective of all corporate communication solutions. One reason is that you can get feedback from the person you’re talking to right away. Second, you can get visual clues from the other person’s body language.
Of course, not everyone is fond of in-person meetings. It is often perceived as a time-waster because a meeting can drag on for hours. It can also cause workplace interruptions.
4. Instant messaging
Like e-mail, messages sent through instant messaging programs are delivered instantaneously. Unlike email, though, instant messaging platforms will tell you if a co-worker is at his desk, or if he’s away from the computer.
However, instant messaging has its downsides as well like the other corporate communication solutions in this article. Because messages are sent instantly, you may not have time to reflect on the message or reply to a teammate’s query unlike in using an email. And there’s the lack of personal experience in conversing with another person on instant messaging, unlike in an in-person meeting.