For some people, texting feels like second nature. The National Texting Championship is a great example of this, it's a competition where texters' speed, accuracy, and dexterity are put to the test. Last year's winner, 17-year-old Austin Wierschke, practiced for the competition by sending 500 texts a day. Texting makes communicating easier, but is it appropriate for business?
Texting may already be prevalent in your office. You may not see texting as an issue, you may even do it yourself, but where texting enters a grey area for business is when it comes to using texting for work purposes. Here are three reasons why texting is not a good tool for office communication.
Texting is Informal
If your business is working hard to maintain a professional image, then you will want to distance yourself from a communication solution favored by teenagers. The reason Austin Wierschke can text so quickly is because he doesn't use proper grammar, or even real words. OMG DID U C? LOL, TTYL...L8R
These abbreviations are known as SMS language, and they have no place in a professional work environment. Any work colleague or customer that receives a business related text filled with SMS language will not take you or your company seriously, and because text messaging has the negative stigma associated with teenagers and their rebellious grammar, it's better to take the time and write a proper e-mail.
Texting Undermines a Unified Workplace Communications Strategy
If you receive an e-mail about an important project, and reply by sending a text, then you have complicated the project by adding an unnecessary layer of communication. This will make things extra difficult when an important detail needs to be checked by going back and finding out who said what.
Texting Does Not Leave a Paper Trail
For accountability purposes, you will want to stick with using e-mail in the workplace. If ever an issue arises, it's easy to dig into an e-mail account in order to find needed information and print it for legal purposes. Printing an SMS message from a cellphone is possible, but it's not nearly as easy as printing an e-mail.
Another texting issue you may face from retrieving important communications is accessing text messages from phones belonging to your employees. Unless you have a detailed BYOD policy in place giving you permission to retrieve text from their devices, an employee may be within their legal right to deny you access to their phone, even if it was used for business-related communications.
One reliable solution that avid texters will appreciate is to set your business up with an instant message solution that integrates with an employee's personal mobile device. You can set up an instant message solution in your company's name so you can view and print all employee communications, and employees that prefer texting will feel comfortable using instant messaging.
The best way to streamline your company's phone and instant messaging needs, along with other communication solutions like videoconferencing, is with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) from Computerware. Call us at (703) 821-8200 to learn more about VoIP and other great business communication solutions to fit the needs of your organization.
Of course, e-mail is still a solid and reliable solution for communicating in the workplace. It may take extra time to write a well-thought out and articulate e-mail, but it's worth it if it means maintaining a professional image, having an accessible record of who said what, and keeping the English language intact.
Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.