Do you need to have a quick chat with your coworker? Send an instant message! Instant messaging may appear similar to email at first glance, but the tone and feel are quite different. If email is like sending a digital letter, instant messaging is like having a digital conversation. It is informal, quick, and spontaneous.

The advantages of instant messaging tools such as Clariti, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom have quickly become apparent. One problem is that we are still figuring out how to communicate properly and professionally through instant messaging. Several best practices should be implemented by organizations, including choosing the right software, setting ground rules for personal messages, developing norms for appropriate response times, and encouraging face-to-face communication.

Instant messaging was once thought to be a personal communication tool, but recently, business organizations have begun to embrace the idea of using this for business purposes. Let us look at how instant messaging helps remote workers!

What is instant messaging (IM)

Instant messaging is a platform for file sharing and updates, streamlined communication, and quick responses. The technology is similar to email, where the information is sent electronically to the recipient, but instant messaging does not require the recipient to access a personal inbox to retrieve the message. Instant messages are displayed on the recipient’s current screen on which the chat software runs.

Tips to help you improve the effectiveness of IM in your business. For businesses that already use this type of tool, these tips can help you make it more productive.

1.  Select tools based on your company’s requirements

Make sure to select the best instant messaging platform that best meets your organisation’s needs by considering all of the potential daily uses for the tools.

2.  Provide IM usage guidelines

You should always provide detailed guidelines for how remote workers should communicate with one another, including how they should use the instant messaging app. This can facilitate information flow and prevent miscommunication.

3.  Keep distractions to a minimum

When you need to concentrate on your work, use features like muting notifications and setting your status to busy.

4. Emphasize effective information sharing

This tip is divided into two parts. First, you should find effective ways to share information among remote workers. The other aspect is that you must be careful not to overwhelm your employees with unnecessary information.

How instant messaging is beneficial for remote workers

The following are the top advantages of an instant messaging platform for remote workers:

1.  Improves mobility and accessibility

Instant messaging apps run on the cloud, allowing employees to communicate with one another whether they are in the office or not.

Instant messenger users can access the services from their phones, computers, offices, the basement, or homes. For example, if there is a problem in the factory, you can ask a coworker for help via instant messaging.

2.  Suitable for group chat

When there were no instant messaging platforms, business employees had to rely on their phones to call and talk with their colleagues. The introduction of instant messaging for businesses solved this issue.

Some platforms enable two-way one-on-one chats and save the conversations for future reference. This means that every conversation will be recorded.

3.  Helps resolve questions quickly

When employees ask a quick question during their department chat or a small group working on a project, they can get a response from higher-level employees whom they might not feel comfortable emailing or approaching directly.

4.  Allows for real-time communication

Unlike emails, which do not notify you when the other party has read your messages, instant messaging in the workplace allows employees to communicate in real-time.

When one of your contacts appears online, you can send and receive messages more quickly than email. This is critical in a business where customers or clients expect immediate responses.

5.  It saves both space and money

Remote workers who want to communicate with customers anytime can also use instant messaging. They don’t need to use long-distance phone services because messaging solutions are available. Most IM platforms are free, and paid platforms do not charge per minute. It can also replace one-line messages and email chains that take up server space.

6.  Maintains a record

Instant messaging, like texts and emails, keep a record of the conversations. It comes in handy when you need a reference. Unlike emails, which have strings of emails attached, each chat entry is on its tab.

7.  Easy to set up

Unlike a conference call, which takes time to set up and requires everyone to be assigned a number, instant messaging is available at all times and allows everyone to communicate with it. You can also communicate with people who are not present. You are not required to seat everyone in the workplace in a single conference room. Everything is right in front of you.

8.  Improves efficiency and productivity

Consider team chat software like Clariti to increase productivity in the remote workplace. They are designed for the business world!

Clariti uses instant messaging technology at its core but adds advanced chatting options, collaboration tools, control features, and security. This allows you to improve workflows and teamwork without sacrificing productivity or security.

Is instant messaging right for remote workers?

To make things work, use the following strategies:

  1. Keep in mind that it is instant: If you are used to email, you are used to reading and double-checking your messages before sending them. However, people tend to react quickly without thinking about what they want to say regarding instant messaging. Check your messages twice before sending them.
  • Maintain a professional tone: Even if you use instant messaging tools, your messages should be professional, polite, and respectful.
  • Do not get distracted: People want to communicate faster and are frequently frustrated by the speed of emails. However, instant messaging requires an immediate response, which may become distracting when doing deep thinking work. Develop protocols where colleagues respect your quiet time when you set your status as busy.
  • Know the rules: If you incorporate instant messaging into your business, develop policies outlining how this tool should be used and what information should be shared.
  • Stick to the topic: It may be tempting to chat about non-business- related issues with your coworkers, but stay on topic.
  • Use instant messaging for the right messages: while an instant messaging platform is fantastic, it is not always an appropriate communication channel. Email is better for thoughtful replies, while instant messaging is better for shorter answers.

Final thoughts

As you can see, instant messaging is helpful for several reasons. Minor misunderstandings between remote workers can frequently lead to more serious issues. With instant messaging, issues can be resolved quickly with a timely chat. While email and phone calls can resolve issues, they can be time-consuming for minor updates. Instant messaging provides a platform for brief but informative communication. This keeps everyone engaged with the company and in contact with the entire team.

Experimenting with it yourself is the best way to understand better what it can bring to your workplace. If you are still undecided, give Clariti a try. It is a powerful, secure, and adaptable instant messaging tool for workplaces and teams of all sizes.