Instant messaging is about a lot more than just chat. It can revolutionize the way your people communicate and work together. We take a look at why and how instant messaging can benefit your business.

According to a recent study, around 43% of employees are now using instant messaging at work to boost efficiency, productivity, and team collaboration. Given the advantages of IM, it’s likely that number will grow.

Shadow IT can leave businesses with less control over their data and IP

This increasing usage raises many issues including security. When companies fail to provide people with the work tools they need to get the job done, they start to use the consumer tools they use in the personal lives. This ‘shadow IT’ can leave businesses with less control over the security of their data, their IP, or who has access to it.

So what do you need to consider when thinking about instant messaging for business? Here are 9 ways it can help you connect and get more done.

Save time

One of the biggest advantages of instant messaging for business is that it’s exactly that – instant. With live chat for business, you can get straight to the point. No need for any of the polite conversation that comes with a phone call, or the formality of an email.

This makes IM perfect for fast-moving projects where you need to communicate quickly and make decisions on the hoof. Transferring information at speed means people can act on it immediately. And that gives you an instant boost to productivity and efficiency.

Encourage creativity

IM is great for encouraging the rapid flow of ideas. The ability to throw something out to an IM group when brainstorming can inspire people to contribute.

IM gives you access to more insight without email or face-to-face

It can give you access to more insight without having to copy lots of people into emails or attend face-to-face meetings. Instead, people can bounce ideas off each other using tools like Workplace that enable live chat for business, with instant responses sparking more creativity and helping to hone ideas.

Give instant feedback

According to a survey by Futurestep, millennials need more feedback at work than other generations. IM makes this easy – you can give instant responses to work and sign off with a simple thumbs up. You can also answer quick questions and give support whenever it’s needed.

Make the most of familiarity

Whether it’s Facebook, WhatsApp or just texting on their mobile, most people are familiar with using some sort of instant messaging system in their personal lives. The familiarity of an IM interface means people will feel confident about using it straight away, and won’t have to learn something new in order to communicate effectively. This can drastically reduce roll-out or implementation costs of full company-wide deployments.

Boost democracy

In an IM group, everyone is on the same level. People can have the same access to information as the rest of the group, and the same right to contribute.

IM for business gives everyone the same right to contribute

This means organizations can benefit from ideas from people who might not otherwise have felt they could take part in the conversation. With IM, there’s no need for anyone to feel excluded.

Close the gap

With workforces scattered over geographies and time zones, many organizations are grappling with the issue of how to reach and bring together all their people. Instant messaging for business can provide the solution.

IM for business is mobile-first. It’s available to everyone anywhere

It’s accessible from anywhere, and mobile-optimized platforms mean people can use it on the move. Video chats provide the face-to-face contact that otherwise would be impossible to arrange.

And it doesn’t have to be an internal tool. Using Workplace, you can also connect securely with suppliers, customers and external partners with instant messaging chat in Multi-company groups.

Spread the word

Need to reach your whole organization fast? IM is the way to do it. Rather than relying on people checking a company intranet or their emails, you can get information to all your employees as quickly as you need to.

Know who’s available

No more spending time composing an email only to get an out of office message. With IM you know who’s online so you can time your communications for when you know there’s someone to receive them.

Turn down the noise

With around 269 billion emails sent every day, it’s not surprising that employees complain of email overload. While there’s always likely to be a place for email, IM can reduce at least a little of the huge strain on your inbox.

Which might be reason enough to deploy an enterprise-ready IM solution at your organization…

Watch how AirAsia is using Workplace Chat to reduce email use and get more work done. Or try Workplace Premium free for 90 days.

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