How Technology Made Its Impact on Business Communication
Guest Post by David Webb
Nowadays, business communication has not only become faster, but more reliable as well. We no longer use carrier pigeons to relay our messages across great distances. Instead, we use communication software such as Skype and Viber to contact people in real-time wherever they are on the planet.
As a result of this technology, businesses, especially small businesses, are more efficient with their use of resources as well as their team management overall. Communication breakdowns were known to be quite costly in the past, but luckily for us, we’re living in the digital age, where swift communication is the name of the game. Therefore, here’s a more detailed explanation on how technology has made its impact on business communication:
Digital communication is both reliable and inexpensive, so much so that it totally replaced physical messaging of any kind in the business sphere. Once sent, digital messages have a better chance of reaching their destination than paper messages. As an example, there are no mailmen involved, so you won’t have to worry about them getting attacked by a guard dog and accidentally switching your letters in the process.
Also, apart from the occasional glitches, digital messaging is less prone to human error, as computers are more efficient at delivering them to the right source than we are. However, text messages are not the only thing we can send to our colleagues; the exchange of files is yet another thing we take for granted nowadays.
By using cloud storage software, employees can access their files even from home and can share them with the rest of the company as easily. This makes business data more secure as there are constant backups online in the case of a security breach.
Moreover, business communication has become instantaneous, with multiple colleagues often editing the same document or file in real-time. No matter where they are, the USA or Australia, co-workers can engage in work together from anywhere around the world at the same time.
Speaking of the land down under, there’s a technological revolution taking place. Sydney is slowly turning into Australia’s Silicon Valley. Companies are shifting from outdated business tech and practices to new innovative ones.
For example, large conference room meetings are becoming obsolete as they are steadily being replaced by video conferences instead. With these, workers don’t even have to abandon their work stations in order to attend one such meeting. Everything can be done from the comfort of their desks as webcams do the rest.
It saves businesses a lot of time and space and is better overall than making a phone call because you can actually see the person you’re talking to. In that sense, video streaming is more in-depth as you can convey both visual and audible information at the same time.
However, what this means is that workers in general, not just the managers, need to fall back to their presentation skills every once in a while to be effective during such digital conferences. Thus, this skill is becoming an essential trait for any successful employee, and will likely become the business standard in the near future, so honing it might be an excellent idea. Many local startup companies actually send their workers to presentation skills training in Sydney so they can acquire new and useful skills and get a head start.
Finally, video conferences can be recorded and stored as data to be replayed at a later date. Meaning, the information is never lost and can be looked up fairly easily when the need arises.
Organizing a large group of people is cumbersome work for any manager out there. This is why, with the advent of technology, organizing your workers and co-workers has never been as simple as it is today. Project management tools allow everyone involved in the project to keep track of what exactly is going on it at all times. Tasks and sub-tasks are assigned to specific employees so there can be no confusion about what needs doing.
Consequently, this enables everyone to be on the same page both literally and metaphorically, as everything necessary is kept in a single virtual office. Moreover, the location of the employees doesn’t really matter, they could be half a world away and they could still work on the same project and the same boss could oversee their work as if they were all present in the same office.
Lastly, because communication is so rapid and data transfer made so accessible, businesses can use technology to their advantage and outsource some of their workload to other companies. This way, businesses can focus all of their efforts on growth rather than investing money into building their own in-house departments for certain services. Data storage and IT service companies are just one of the many examples where businesses can offload their extra workload because it’s made a lot cheaper by technology.
All in all, we’ve yet to see the full impact of technology on business communication. What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning of technology’s true potential. New innovations will surely make communication cheaper and more enjoyable as is the case so far.
About the Author:
David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.
It’s true that an online education isn’t the best option for everyone, but did you know that a lot of students thrive in an online environment? Here are some reasons why online education might be the right route for you.
When you study online, you are given the chance to choose from a huge variety of schools and programs as well. There is a chance that you don’t live anywhere near schools that offer the course that you want, or even courses that you are interested in. This is especially the case if you live in a rural area, so online courses can give you the chance to really expand your bank of knowledge.
Take a masters in public safety course for example. It’s an essential degree for a huge range of jobs, yet not many universities have it available for their students.
When you opt for an online education, it can give you a level of flexibility that cannot be compared to a standard university setting. You can find an online program that works around your schedule, and some courses give you the chance to set your very own weekly schedule as well.
If you struggle to stay organized when it comes to getting work in on time or even when taking your books to university, you don’t have to worry about this at all because when you study online, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
Students who enroll in an online education usually end up meeting people from all around the world. When studying online, you don’t have to feel isolated at all and can even work with other people as well to try to get your studies done.
You can develop excellent references by doing this and also benefit from the huge range of educational resources that are available.
Online education is usually much cheaper when compared to traditional schooling. Virtual programs are ideal, and if you are an adult who is looking to go back to university then they are a great choice. They are also a great choice if you already have some student debt, because usually you pay one flat fee and then the rest of the course is paid for.
Most online educational programs give you the chance to work at a pace that suits you. A lot of students love this because it means that they don’t have to follow the traditional pace of the other students. It also means that they can study at their own pace without getting left behind or even bored with the existing material.
So, online education is certainly a brilliant way for you to really make the most out of your education options, and you just might be surprised at how easy it is for you to benefit from everything that they have to offer. Not only are online courses very affordable, but they are a great way for you to step things up to that next level while also enhancing your career prospects for the future.
Running a business is a dream that so many people hold. It’s one of those things that makes society great to be able to follow your dreams and be your own boss. Being a valuable asset to the economy is also a title of prestige that we want to hold. This can cause us to think of a business as some kind of machine that somehow works together to bring us forward to this place in life.
The truth is that businesses are like living organisms; they all functions due to one component that is more complex than anything else inside the moving internals. The human being behind the desk, behind the paperwork, behind the different levels of research, production, testing, sales and future plans is what keeps a business afloat and prosperous.
Small business owners around the world think about meeting deadlines and targets, pushing their employees to work harder, faster and for longer and longer hours. We don’t often realize that by showing leadership that actually treated employee growth, the business would automatically grow itself; you may even fire up the afterburners if done correctly. This is why forging a cohesive team is so vital to becoming adaptable and strong.
Image by Pixabay
Realizing Individual Strengths
When hiring an employee, the basic criteria is to meet the required qualifications, experience, expertise, and possibly possessing that spark of genius that only be described as raw talent. Of course, this is how you should be hiring because these are the foundational aspects of each employee. Staff have to be competent, and at the interview process, you can only judge this by how successful they have been in the past, how their character and skills have developed, and it goes without saying their professional standard qualifications.
However, when it comes to employees in the workspace, soon you’ll realize that despite their brilliance on paper, they have a lot of growing to do. Every single business is different, so you should be making your own standards or which the people you hire should adhere to. It’s vital to, therefore, assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. You should know who can do what, who has more of a positive attitude, their time management skills, their ability to think on their feet, and also their individual leadership skills—to name a few.
When you can form an employee profile based on this, you have started the ball rolling for creating a team that has both yin and yang; a team that has members that can close the gap of each other’s shortfalls.
Forming A Hierarchy
Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in business is to able to read people. It’s not quite on the same level as national politics, but politics do play a part in how you form a hierarchy. Every business needs one; there can be no uncertainty about who is doing what, and who is reporting to who. Otherwise, it’s just chaos with no clear direction.
Usually, when this kind of decision-making conundrum is figuratively at your front door, and suddenly you hear the knock of firm but fair leadership calling your name; it’s at the beginning of a business’ life. However, this can and should be done whenever you feel as if things aren’t moving in the right direction or how fast you would like them to.
Alway, always create the hierarchy of superiors based on two things alone. One, the ability of the person regardless of race, gender or age. Two, their thought process and how much in tune they are with your mindset, your vision of what the business should be. You must violently shun any emotional responses that come into your mind.
Promoting friends who have less ability and vision than a stranger will almost always end in disaster. Put the best person for the job in the role of a manager, who will lead a section of employees in the various departments of your business. This person will not only lead, but will transfer your orders and wishes to the team, and have the responsibility to then meet targets.
Photo by JuralMin
Helping Everyone to Stay on Board
The world of business is head-spinning, always moving quickly. This is no more so in the world of small businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurship. It’s vital that each employee has modern tools at their disposal, coinciding with your wishes, to keep up with whatever is going on. Just think about the many memos, invoices, updates, notifications, reminders, briefs, tasks, guidelines, and other documentation you will constantly be giving your employees.
On top of this, organizing events, meetups, conferences etc. keeps the schedule of you and your employees packed all year round. Running a smooth ship is by far one of the most overlooked aspects, so many small business owners are guilty of. But, with modern technology right at everyone’s fingertips, there is no excuse why you shouldn’t be able to keep all your employees reading from the same page and attending meetings on time and at the right place.
Think about employing free scheduling software that is easy to use as an administrator, and even easier to distribute among your staff. So much communication happens on the cloud, i.e. online storage servers, and it’s easy to see why. By each of your employees setting up an account on these various websites, they can access documents that have been shared to them by the managers on the floor whom you are distributing your orders and target ambitions through.
Of course, there will be different software for different tasks, with some more oriented toward numbers, figures and statistics like Microsoft Excel, and others like Sling that can create timetables. It’s up to you how you use them, but one thing is for sure: because they’re online, every employee who adheres to your documents is therefore in sync. This allows the team to move forward in one united front.
Allow Creativity and Individuality to Sparkle
The silent and invisible binding glue that keeps the lowest ranking employee to not conjure a resentment toward his or her superiors is the ability to inject their own creativity at work. We’ve all been there, where you’re the lowest on the totem pole either because of skills and need, or holding an entry-level position and you feel unappreciated. A good business person will acknowledge the fact that leaders in their business are few, and followers are plenty in number.
In order to get the best out of your employees who act as the day-to-day workers in their departments, it’s important to allow their individuality to shine. Of course, it’s a little awkward because you don’t want them to be totally free to do whatever they like, so you must choose the right time and set the correct parameters for this to occur.
For example, if someone in your marketing department, or sales, or research has an idea that is not detrimental either in derailing the main goals of your business or in the eating up of resources, then allow them to explore further. Don’t forget that small businesses are where innovation beams the brightest, so don’t be afraid to accept new ideas.
When there are meetings that are either departmental or as a whole business, there should be a section for questions and answers. Don’t just bark orders at your team and think of yourself as so high and mighty that you expect them to shut up and do as they’re told. Lead with a firm hand, but not as a tyrant dictator. Allow junior staff to explain their ideas and how they think the processes could be improved.
Every department has their own modus operandi, and it’s just how people of different natures, expertise, and sub-group professional cultures are. Don’t repress this and try to turn everyone into a bland robot.
Playing by the Same Rules
One of the lesser areas that small businesses should also be looking at is fairness regardless of rank. One of your company ethos should be rules or codes of conduct guidelines. All staff members should have a copy available to them, so they know what is and isn’t permissible, along with what is expected of them in the workplace.
As the leader and owner of the business, you should be wary and watchful of who is not abiding by these rules. More often than not, junior staff will be more likely to keep within the boundaries of operations and be more ethically aware. It’s unfortunate to admit sometimes, but power does corrupt.
This is why you should openly exert an attitude of holding managers, board members, and junior staff all to the same standard. If anyone breaks a rule or does something that is provocative that you do not agree with, it’s wise to punish that individual in a way that lets everyone else know that you are not afraid to lay down the law no matter what seat you sit on in the hierarchy.
Forging a cohesive team will unlock the power your business needs to succeed and champion your competitors. People are the engine of business. Being able to command respect and wield authority over your employees is incredibly important and must not ever be overlooked or underestimated.
However, with this in mind, you should allow creativity to be expressed from junior staff, form a hierarchy based on skill rather than personal relationships, help everyone stay up-to-date with online software, and realize the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.