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The pandemic of 2020 has changed everything. We all had to make personal and professional adjustments to the new way of life. Each in their own way. Businesses had to adapt or risk falling behind. There were many regulations put in place that companies needed to adjust to. This led to a lot of time, effort, and money being invested to come up with alternatives. Only now do we realize that we took for granted some of the most basic things. Like speaking to our coworker’s face to face, or enjoying a coffee break together. For some time now, that was unwise. New methods of communication in the workplace had to take place. Luckily for us, we have the technology. These inventions are not new. Alternative forms of communication have just experienced rapid growth due to increased demand. Here are some of the growing trends in business communication.
This shift in communication trends has a deep impact. Companies seek alternative ways to connect their teams. This is one of the biggest challenges in a remote work environment. While employees might be enjoying the perks with the improved personal and work-life balance, employers are struggling to organize everything. It has gotten harder to stay in contact with one another. The first and most obvious line of defence is the mobile applications that allow easier communication. File sharing is another must-have service, along with video conferencing. It makes staying on the same page a lot more doable. As long as everyone is working towards the same outcome, we can consider a communication method a success.
The transition to VoIP
Business VoIP services can provide us with a large number of benefits. Traditional landlines have been forgotten for a long time now. They were expensive and fixed to a particular place. With the advent of very affordable mobile devices, landlines simply fell off the radar. The cost-to-benefit ratio is what finally tipped the scale. It is always the most important factor in any shifting trend. Companies realized how much money they were spending on traditional landlines. With VoIP, companies are able to be more agile, versatile and flexible in their communication efforts. Internet phones will only become more popular as time goes on.
Most of us are used to office meetings. Most notably, these were face-to-face and direct. Now that is an impossibility and video conferencing acts as the next best thing. This form of communication is nothing new. Remote teams have been using this method for as long as it has been around. It is just that now, video meetings have a broader application. Whether we need daily briefings, weekly meetings, or just short information exchange, frequent, quality virtual meetings are indispensable. The pandemic, and more importantly, the lockdowns have pushed some trends out of necessity. This is one of those trends.
The pandemic has also proven that many people can work from home full time. This was not thought of as possible until now. Employees have also adapted to the new environment. They are enjoying the lack of commute. Also, the work-life balance is significantly improved. Many of the office jobs can comfortably be performed at home anyways. And this cycle just keeps iterating on itself. More and more work-from-home-friendly occupations are emerging. Also, we are discovering more and more ways to perform traditional jobs remotely. Of course, remote work relies heavily on modern technology. Primarily, it relies on real-time communication methods. Companies leverage these tools to bridge the gap between teams. On the other hand, business owners are reaping the benefits as well. No longer do they need to pay for expensive leases on office space. And why would they? It is a win-win situation if you allow it.
Online conferences tend to drag on. There will most likely be a trend of keeping it short and to the point. Because otherwise, it can get really long and pointless. Online meetings will be used to exchange information and move on with it. This can prove to be a good thing for the business process. It may be a bad thing for team relationship. It will be important to make a distinction between office and team-building meetings. Use them accordingly. Most companies are not well adapted to the new environment. They tend to forget that colleagues are losing touch personally. While mandatory team-building sessions might feel forced, try and encourage off-hours fun.
Not only is email not dead, but it has also witnessed a resurgence in popularity. It is a different form of communication than that previously mentioned here. It is a form of indirect, asynchronous communication. Until the pandemic, people have been using it as a paper trail method. Now, the role of email has evolved. It has become more and less formal at the same time. We are witnessing emails become more conversational. This means less editing is involved, less structure, and fewer reviews. But also, email was always used for the most official communication efforts. For this purpose, there are many other services that are giving structure that an official email needs. Tools like Slack and Workfront organize communication in ways that most suit a business environment. These tools are now widely used by companies. The email is not going away, but it is inhabiting a lot of new forms.
Many businesses had to turn to online sales in order to keep going. And they have made a killing. The customers were crying for more online options for years now. And only recently, did many companies become wiser and decided to answer those demands. If you can sell your product or service online, do it. Trim out as much fat from the selling process as possible.
Direct social interactions were taken for granted before the pandemic. Now, not so much. Luckily, we have adapted well to the new environment. Make sure to incorporate these principles and make the most out of the new communication tools.