Workplace communication has always been important. But now, in an era of increased remote working, it’s more vital than ever. For most of us, unless we work in completely isolated roles, good communication is the difference between success and failure, and is the foundation for strong team relationships.
In this post, we dig a little deeper into why businesses should be making workplace communication a top priority, and how this can benefit employees.
Communication and company culture
Most companies will have some sort of mission statement, or idea of how they want to act as a business. This might be reflected in their work location policies, or what they choose to include in their employee handbook, but it can also be reflected in the way that they communicate.
For example, highly corporate businesses may want to prioritise emails over instant messaging options like Slack or Teams, which then gives their workplace a more formal feel. In contrast, start-ups or smaller companies may favour primarily using more casual options like Workplace, where you can simply message anyone in the company quickly, and create groups to share information about hobbies or interests outside of your main job role. For new starters in particular, this can set the tone for what kind of environment the company offers.
Increasing efficiency and clarity
When employees are able to communicate effectively with one another, it helps to improve productivity and overall satisfaction with the job. If no one is sure which platform they should be using to message, or what they should or shouldn’t be sharing, it can create a disjointed team that lacks clarity, and becomes less effective.
In order to combat this, it can be worth creating a workplace communication guide, to establish what platforms should be used in which circumstances. This ensures that everyone is clear about the protocol for internal communications.
Promoting good work life balance
Especially when it comes to working remotely, it can be easy to feel like you need to be always available for work communications, especially if you work a flexible schedule. However, if you are constantly replying to emails and notifications outside of hours, you set a precedent for your team to do the same, which only leaves everyone feeling unsure of how to switch off.
This can ultimately result in employees working too many hours, and becoming burnt out as a result. Instead, companies should respect employees’ right to switch off, and reply when they can. To support this, teams should use the ‘do not disturb’ function on their devices, or at least clearly communicate with their colleagues when they’re finishing up for the day.
Additionally, regularly sending messages that require an immediate response can mean that team members always feel the need to check their emails, and get distracted from the task that they are focusing on. Research shows that it takes around 30 minutes to get back to focus after you’ve been distracted, meaning that much of the working day is spent jumping from one tab to another.