Friday, May 29, 2015

According to a recent survey conducted by Instantly and commissioned by RingCentral, the use of text among business professionals has become an essential means of communication. The survey, which included 254 US adults age 18 and over, also indicates a need for improved internal communication tools, policies and procedures to manage the increased interaction among employees.

It’s no surprise 80% of people surveyed claimed that texting was part of their daily business communication; 15% reported that more than half of their daily texts are business related. However, not all texting is done via mobile device. Almost a third of those surveyed said they use other devices to communicate via text to coworkers. These also include various messaging apps, which were reported by more than half of the participants.

With so much texting going on—21 to 40 texts daily, according to 30% of respondents—it’s also not surprising that many business professionals find the added use of text, and speed by which they communicate, to be overwhelming and obtrusive.

More than a third of those surveyed reported they couldn’t go more than 10 minutes without answering a text message; more than 80% said they couldn’t go more than twenty-four hours without responding to a text.

Despite a small number of employees who didn’t carry a text plan with their carrier (4%) almost 50% of the respondents felt overwhelmed by this communication overload and risk problematic behavior to keep up with text messages.

Twenty percent of those business professionals admitted to texting while driving, an alarming figure compared to 8% among the general public.

The messages themselves have also undergone significant transformations. Emojis, for example, have quickly found a spot among business correspondence, as well as images and voice-to-text dictation, which can add considerable length to otherwise quick messages.

Nearly 30% of those surveyed reported having full conversations using only text, while a little more than 71% percent reported using text to communicate a quick response.

However you slice these numbers, the fact that employee-based communication has become significantly text driven means that companies that allow or supply the use of mobile devices should consider how this communication increase could harm or help their company. It’s important that employers monitor communications to avoid an overwhelming amount of unnecessary chatter, while balancing thoughtful use of this important communication tool.