Report: Instant messaging infiltrating internal comms

Desktops, email and phones still rule the office landscape, but chat platforms are becoming essential for workplace communication. Has your organization embraced this channel?

Before picking up the phone or knocking on a colleague’s door, you might want to open a digital group chat.

ReportLinker recently conducted a survey to determine how Americans are communicating at work. Half of the 513 respondents confirmed that email is still the main conduit for information, though 43 percent reported using instant messaging apps as well. Just one in five respondents said they prefer one-on-one discussions or phone calls.

Collaborative chat platforms such as Slack, Skype, Microsoft Lync, Google Hangouts and Facebook at Work are increasingly popular. However, only 8 percent of those polled said instant messaging is their first choice to communicate with co-workers. Twenty-three percent of respondents use video conferencing, which also appears to be growing in popularity.

The survey’s findings highlight a prescient yet often overlooked issue regarding the balance of internal communication power—as in who gets to choose which channels reign supreme. More than half of the survey’s respondents said their IT departments select communications technologies and platforms. A mere 3 percent said their communications department had a say in which instant messaging apps get the green light.

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