Whether you have teams telecommuting, collaborating remotely, or just working across the office cubicle, chat software for business and apps are the latest must-have workplace essentials. Boasting the ability to merge a number of different collaboration tools into a single web, desktop, and mobile application—it’s no surprise they’re growing in popularity. In fact, the adoption of team chat applications skyrocketed in the past year, rising from 2.4% to a whopping 33.3%, according to a recent survey. Whether you’re a small, medium or enterprise organization, team chat is a tool that should not be overlooked. Here are five ways to make group chats the best place at work, offering an array of time- and money-saving solutions, including:
- Honing in on unnecessary emails. If you’ve been on the receiving end of an overflowing inbox, you understand that they’re a big problem for today’s workers. So, it’s no surprise that 22% (more than one-fifth) of working professionals surveyed found that half or more of the work emails they receive are irrelevant to them. Even worse, 11% (more than one-in-10) report as much as 75% or more of their inbox is jam packed with unnecessary emails. That’s a big drain on time and resources. The right office chat solutions allow you to create different chat channels for each team based on work streams or topics—perfect for targeted one-on-one chatting, messaging and ad-hoc conversations.
- Creating a go-to hub for teamwork. The ability to build functional team workspaces not only cuts down on exploding inboxes, it also means you can bring all the right people together to quickly access key documents and tools, explore data, and get updates from the apps your teams use every day. You can also customize notifications so you don’t miss important activity and information. Now, all your content, tools, people and conversations are available in the appropriate team workspace. Be sure to choose a team chat solution that gives you built-in access to popular tools like SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business, which can turn a quick chat into an instant face-to-face conversation.
- The ability to add some personality to the workday. Did you know that when we see a smiley face online, it stimulates the same parts of the brain as those activated by a real human face? Teams should be able to add some fun and humanity to their digital conversations within group chat—not with just emojis— but with stickers, GIFs and more. For an added personal touch, be sure to choose a meme/macro-builder that lets you pick an image and then customize it by overlaying text—to truly make it your own.
- Collaboration without sacrificing security. When choosing a business chat solution, be sure to choose one with the best enterprise security and compliance features, including eDiscovery and legal hold for channels, chats and files, plus data encryption at all times (at-rest and in-transit), and multi-factor authentication to enhance identity protection.
- Find an integrated chat hub at no added cost. Finding a solution that is already included in your Microsoft Office experience is a cost-effective and smart way to try out business chat. For example, Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365 that keeps all your content, tools, people, and conversations together in one place. Best of all, it’s included at no extra cost with Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, Enterprise E1, E3, and E5 plans, making it easy for you to give it a try. Microsoft Teams runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and web platforms. Teams supports the web client on Microsoft Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+, Firefox 47.0+, and Chrome 51.0+.