How does your team communicate? Do you use a chat service, or plan regular face-to-face meetings to get work done? If your team is remote, do you set up conference calls or video conferencing?
It may seem like a matter of preference, but the channels you use matter.
How today’s workforce is communicating
In our latest research with Compt, we surveyed more than 800 working professionals in the United States to get a clearer view of the state of workplace communication. And the answers may surprise you.
What tools are most often used in the workplace?
In the realm of communication, 51% of our respondents regularly use video conferencing at work, and only 38% use instant messaging. With the number of remote teams worldwide growing at a rapid pace, these asynchronous communication tools will continue to be on the rise as regular necessities in the workplace.
The most surprising stat we learned about communication methods? When asked, “How do you prefer to communicate at work?”, 62% of respondents answered face-to-face, while only 37% preferred instant messaging tools… and 12% preferred video conferencing.
How do you negotiate communication methods when a sizable segment of the workforce prefers communicating in vastly different ways? Luckily, there are tools that combine both face-to-face and text-based methods of communication. And your team can use those tools to decide what works best for them.
Communication tools for different styles
Coming face-to-face with the tools your team needs can be difficult, to say the least. When half of your team is in Boston and the other half is in Mumbai, it’s imperative to find a way to communicate with everyone. That’s where all-in-one tools like Flock come in handy.
Our team utilizes a healthy blend of face-to-face meetings, video conferences, and instant messages to get work done and connect with each other. Plenty of other tools are now combining instant messaging platforms with video conferencing to suit these various needs while giving you everything you need to communicate. Here’s your toolkit for differing communication styles:
So… 62% of workers surveyed prefer face-to-face communication in the workplace. That means your 1:1s, team meetings, and staff-wide meetings should be physical whenever possible. It’s important to build a system for these meetings that keeps them short, effective, and enjoyable. Prioritize face-to-face meetings and let your team tell you when they prefer different formats.
While workers may not prefer video conferencing, it’s the best replacement for face-to-face meetings for a virtual or distributed team. So how can you make video conferences work for everyone?
The first step is proper video chat etiquette. Knowing the dos and don’ts for video conferencing makes it less grueling and encourages your team to use your video tools more often. Building a teamwide charter for proper video communication can solve your team’s anxiety with video communication, and gives you an opportunity to streamline your video meetings.
Video conferencing is best for remote teams, but can also be handy for client meetings, 1:1s, and webinars. Standardizing your virtual meetings will make them effective, which can lead to your team enjoying them more.
Instant messaging is best for quick communication that requires a brief response, like a company memo or a short question. While these can be done over email, that’s not really an instantaneous form of communication, and emails are more easily ignored.
Plus, many instant messaging or chat tools come with the ability to integrate with the tools you’re already using—this streamlines your workflow and makes it easier to both communicate and collaborate in one place.
Finding your team’s style of communication
The best way to learn how your team best communicates is… to ask! In offering different formats for meetings and communication, you provide the opportunity for your team to collaborate better—isn’t that what communication is all about?