What you need to know about workplace chat apps

One of the newest in-office trends we’re seeing is workplace chat apps. These tools let you schedule jobs, chat with your co-workers and even let you login on your mobile device, to name but a few functions. While there are so many benefits, there are also some aspects that can act detrimentally in your workspace.

Always stay connected

As mentioned, most of the in-office chat apps allow you to download a mobile version, allowing you to always stay connected and instantly see updates from your colleagues, replying with your own requests and comments immediately, no matter where you are. Consider how much time could be wasted on phone calls and emails, only to find out that the people in office have already moved onto the next topic. These apps are the next best thing to being ‘there’ in person.

More screen time and the effect on the business

Of course, communicating only via screen means that there can be a definite dip in physical interpersonal banter and camaraderie that builds the workplace spirit and personality. Worst case scenario: your office (or even your business, if it’s small enough) can lose its quirk and suffer when it comes to person-to-person interactions, and potentially leading to a whole host of other problems that go beyond office friendliness.

Using topic groups

One of the handy features many of these apps have is grouping conversations according to topics. You, the user, can create as many chat groups topics as you like, with whatever topic you want, making discussions much easier to follow and ensuring only relevant people are included in the chat.

“Us” and “them”

The downside of this is that the rest of the office may not be aware of the extent of the awesome work the select few in any one of the chats is working on, which kind of breaks the office flow and can even create an “us” and “them” feeling.

Share links and information

Whether you are making use of the chat function, setting up tasks or simply checking on work statuses, these office chat apps allow you to easily share links and relevant information with co-workers specific to the task at hand, instead of notifying the whole office and potentially breaking concentration of those who aren’t involved.

Could become a forum for silliness

Many of us are familiar with the YouTube black hole: you start out looking for one thing and end up following links and suggested videos until you realise you’ve veered so far off the original track that what you are looking at isn’t even vaguely close to what you need or where you started. Now add a platform to share this silliness. Lack of concentration + easy sharing = no work and more distraction.

Microsoft Teams is a workplace chat app that allows you to chat, meet, share files, and work with business apps all on one user-friendly platform. Teams promotes more effective communication with group chats, online meetings, calling and web conferencing, and allows co-workers to collaborate easier by sharing files on the built-in Office 365 apps. One of the nifty features of Teams is that it is completely customisable, allowing you to add in your favourite Microsoft apps and third-party services that are most important to your business. On top of all that, Teams is completely safe and secure with privacy powered by Office 365. What’s not to love?