Slack, Chanty and Flock are just a selection of the work chat apps businesses all over the world are utilising. They’re supposed to increase efficiency, productivity and team morale, but are they just a distraction for users? We’ll determine the pros and cons of work chat apps to help your agency decide if it should make the switch.
The Pros and Cons of a Work Chat App
- Real-Time Communication
- Improved Team Morale
- Reduces Emails
- Connects Remote Teams
A work chat app gives you the ability to communicate with staff immediately, no matter where they are in the world. Faster than emails, you can instantly send and receive messages. It’s a fantastic tool for letting the appropriate person know if there’s an issue that needs fixing.
Email chains can develop over days and it can take far too long for a decision to be made. With instant messaging, everyone can quickly add ideas and the problem can be solved in minutes.
Improved Team Morale
Tools like Slack allow you to create separate channels for different kinds of conversation you might need to have. Although it might be important to have a sales or admin channel, you can also have a more informal option for staff to discuss whatever they want.
This is a great way of encouraging conversation between staff members and help to develop positive relationships. Staff members who might be less likely to talk in the office verbally can now chat via the messaging app. GIFs, videos and emojis all help to make a channel like this fun and interesting.
Instead of staff sending an email to your inbox, they’re able to send an instant message once you make the switch to a work chat app. You’ll be amazed at how decluttered your inbox is, making it easier to find the big-issue items you need email for.
If you find that the messages you receive are becoming a distraction, then you can mute certain channels or enter do not disturb mode. This allows you to get your work done and check in on messages when it best suits you.
Connects Remote Teams
There’s no guarantee that all your staff work in the office each day. Flexible working allows people to work from home, on the move or in another country. An instant messaging app helps to build team morale, even with those that aren’t physically there.
A work chat app also reduces the need for phone or video calls with remote workers. It can be time-consuming and technology-dependent when you need to contact a remote worker. Now, with instant messaging, you can always get hold of them immediately.
- Major Distraction
- Security Risk
- Usage Issues
- Temporary Messages
There’s always one member of staff that spends 15 minutes looking for the perfect GIF response when using the work chat app. The platform is a great way of making processes more efficient and increasing productivity if used correctly.
It’s up to you to determine the right balance when using an instant messaging app. It’s important that everyone is online and using it, but they need to make sure it isn’t becoming too much of a distraction. Muting certain channels can help with this.
Any third-party application is at risk from hackers. Instant messaging software is sometimes targeted by thieves who are looking for information or sensitive files. Make sure to use a work chat app responsibly. Don’t send passwords across or files that could be valuable.
You also need to be careful about any links that are posted by staff members. One dangerous link can spread throughout your whole organisation if you aren’t careful.
Messages move so quickly on a work chat app. It can be difficult for everyone to stay in the loop. For example, if you send a quick note that the time of a meeting has changed. There’s no guarantee that everyone will see that message before 100 new messages have been added about other things.
It can also be quite a noisy environment. Whereas an email is just a discussion between those involved, an instant messaging channel can have 30, 40, 50 or more separate conversations. You’ll need to create multiple channels with clear purposes to try and filter some of the noise.
Instant messages are ideal for right now, but you won’t be able to access them again in the future. Many apps delete messages after a certain amount of time because otherwise, the storage needed would be ridiculous.
If any important work is sent on an instant messaging app, make sure it’s downloaded and backed up immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have problems in the future when you come to find it again and it’s been automatically deleted.
Finding the Right Communication Tools for Your Agency
A work chat app like Slack can declutter your email inbox and raise team morale. Just keep an eye on who’s spending more time chatting than working. Apps like these are just one innovation you can make to your agency’s communication process.
To find out more about how your business can better communicate, both internally with staff and when dealing with clients or suppliers, make sure to download our free ebook. It’s packed with helpful tips to help you develop strategies that will improve your business. Get your free copy by clicking on the link below.