We cannot repudiate the importance of communication. However, there are now some problems in communication in the workplace settings, especially in the digital work environment that we should be aware of and overcome.
Figures about communication issues in the digital workplace
According to San Bruno's research, one out of every three American workers is laid off due to communication problems at work. Research also shows that employees feel more anxious, more overwhelmed about how to do the job because of poor communication or poor management.
In another research conducted by Crumbling State Employee Communication also reveals that:
- About 75% of employees reported that they spend a lot of their time to keep up with constant dings, pings, chats and other conversations.
- Up to 66% of employees wasted 30 minutes to 1 hour to keep up with the daily conversations, this can cost the organisation US$3 billion in annual profits from wasted time.
- 42% said they missed important information for their work because the communication tool was not really effective.
The influences of social networking as a main communicating tool
According to Alexis Davis, Founder, and CEO of HK Productions, "employees may find it hard to integrate into the digital workplace without the interaction of employees." They need to feel connected, to hear and to feel comfortable communicating with the team members. Once a month chat or virtual meeting will not work. They should join in face-to-face conversations in eschew of emailing, texting or messaging apps because of their positive and negative influences in communication such as:
- Employees can save their time for daily discussion, they can make decisions immediately without the need for numerous meetings
- They can contact each other every time and everywhere even they are on business trips.
- Employees probably overusing the social network which leads to the decrease in face-to-face conversation. It means that co-worker relation is not close.
- As social media platforms are continuously evolving and people can get access to news in an instant, people deliberately avoid in-person communication, which can lead to laziness, depression and other health problems.
Solutions to combat communication problems in the workplace
Use Digital Platforms
Utilising online platforms like Slack or Teamweek can help to expand the communication paths. "Working from home will bring significant benefits, but if there is a minimal interaction, it will be a barrier to connect. But the solution is quite simple: connectivity and communication in a great team, which is all that makes digital work for you. " Davis said.
With the proliferation of technologies, people often communicate with each other through email or by phone, but they have missed out on a more effective way of communicating. Email or text messaging does not provide for the same connection or interaction as a human-to-human meeting.
Provide appropriate training
Businesses need to create programs that encourage the employees to explore their career paths, provide the chance to improve the skills they need as well as try to explain how to apply those skills to the company.
Equally important, we can also provide digital training platform or single toolkit deployment.