There is no denying the fact that email is still the king when it comes to office communication. It is, after all, highly effective and inexpensive. Archiving and retrieving of email messages is also easy. It is not surprising that everyone in an organization, from the president down to the lowest ranking employee, has an email account.
However, this is not to say that the email will forever remain the most preferred way of communication in the corporate world. For all its advantages, email also has its disadvantages as office communication software.
One is that the use of email can be counterproductive in the workplace, as shown by a recent study suggesting that the average American office worker spends around 6.3 hours a day checking on his e-mail inbox.
Moreover, the time it takes to receive a reply isn’t always as short as composing and sending an email. One survey in the United States showed that 76 percent of respondents admit to replying to emails within an hour during office hours. For many busy individuals who need a reply right away, an hour or so is a tad too long.
Aside from the inherent weaknesses of email, the growth in popularity of other office communication software is also a reason why email’s reign as top office communication channel could soon be over.
There are other office communication software that are getting raves from office workers, such as:
Team Collaboration Software
Team collaboration programs are being billed by the media as the ‘email killers’ and for good reason.
These apps serve as a single, searchable warehouse for team communication and information, from messages, files, videos, and automatic notifications. These apps also integrate other tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, Hang Outs, and Twitter.
With this type of office communication software, it is possible for team members to send individual messages to each other (like an ordinary email), or create chat rooms and private groups.
It is ideal, too, for large organizations because groups chats are organized by topic so techie personnel in a team can create an IT-related chat room where interested employees can learn more about IT-related stuff.
Team collaboration apps are normally available as freemium programs, meaning the basic functions are available in the free version. Those wanting to utilize advanced functionalities have to pay for the premium version.
Desktop Notification Software
In communicating an important announcement, reminding employees about a particular event, or even alerting them about an emergency, a desktop notification software may be more effective, if not better, than team collaboration software.
Desktop notification programs can inform the busy employee about these important messages without necessarily distracting them, unlike an email. Plus, desktop notifications can enable management to track the delivery of the message, so they’d know who among employees has or has not received the message.
Desktop notification programs are also used to get feedback from employees. Surveys are now being conducted through these apps, allowing HR or the corporate communications group to seek employee comments on various matters. This is something that is difficult to do in emails.
Desktop notifications are also being utilized to alert employees about emergencies and upcoming events that they have to attend. This type of program is definitely more versatile when compared to email.
While the email may be considered the preeminent communication channel in the workplace, it is not an exaggeration to state that its days of being the top dog are about to end. Team collaboration and desktop notification apps are about to take over as the most preferred communication tools in the workplace.