In many organizations, email is still a go-to communication tool. But how many times did you get lost in a long email thread? In my experience, email is a tool that works best for sending detailed reports or updates – but not for quick communication.
In my team, all information lands directly in Jira, our project management tool. To achieve top team efficiency performance, you need to provide your team members with tools and infrastructure for efficient communication. One of the tools that I think brings immense benefits to teams is an instant messaging, or a team chat.
Here are 8 good reasons why every organization needs a chap app and three examples to help you pick the right tool.
- Keep all team conversations in one place
You may think chat is an ephemeral type of communication, but in fact it’s far from it. Your team won’t need to switch from one communication channel to another in order to find the information shared by their colleagues. By opening a team chat, you can be sure that all team conversations are in one place. The conversations that happen in a chat are just as transparent as emails, but it’s so much easier to understand and organize them.
- Chats are fully searchable
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a short conversation or a long PDF file – every single element in your chat app is searchable. If your team needs quick access to information, all they need to do is type in a relevant keyword and they will get all data in a matter of seconds. All chat conversation are indexed automatically and archived per date.
- Chat is a perfect channel for communicating sensitive information
Team chats are designed to help team members have private conversations related to work or client projects. That’s why they are prepared to handle sensitive information. Until you change the settings and permissions, not everyone will be able to see or interfere in private chat channels.
But if a team leader wants to address the entire team in one go without wasting time on organizing a physical meeting, they can simply start a chat group where everyone in the team will be updated at the same time.
- Your team will get offline notifications
If you happen to be offline or not at your desk for some time, a team member can write to you directly or @mention you in the chat room and you will get a notification on your mobile phone or by email. This is a perfect way to avoid making people lose time on writing an email directly to you. They will know that you will answer through the chat when you’re online again.
- Team members can access chat from any device
Your team can synchronize their account to devices like smartphones, tablets, or personal laptops to enable smoother communication. If your company implements a BYOD strategy, you can be sure that an instant messaging app will work in that setting.
- You can share files easily
Team chat apps allow team members to quickly share folders, images, videos, PDF files, spreadsheets, and other formal documents. Unlike email, members of the chat can send and receive the files instantly.
Team chat apps are developed to support large-sized files people can send through a simple drag-and-drop. That’s right, no more time wasted on waiting until an attachment loads or resetting an email is too large to be sent!
Moreover, you can allow audio and video calls to enable smoother communication, or share your screen with one person or a group of people to help them understand a design better.
- It’s perfect for remote teams
If you’re running a remote team, you need to provide team members with a tool for instant messaging. How else will they share news and updates? It doesn’t matter where they are located – the chat is instant and always available. This is how remote team members maintain a close connection to the team. Plus, chat apps usually feature a wide range of emoticons that help to express emotions and create team bonds.
- Dealing with fewer emails will make you more productive
Ultimately, team chats are much more productive than a series of back and forth emails. Chatting is a far more pleasant and informal way of communication. The team chat app we use in my team – Hipchat – definitely improved our overall productivity.
Examples of chat apps for organizations
Now that you know why team chat apps are a tool you need is your organization, here are 3
examples of tools companies love these days.
Slack offers teams desktop and mobile chat options where conversations are divided by subjects. Team members can chat and share media like photos, videos, and music. An open Slack channel feels a bit like an ongoing meeting which team members can dip in and out of.
Voxer allows teams to conduct conversations using their voice. All they need to do is to make quick recordings of what they say instead of wasting time on texting. The push to talk feature stores these recordings in the cloud. The app synchronizes across different devices and is available in all the app stores. Be careful though – some users reported that the app is serious battery killer.
Atlassian’s chat app for group messaging was designed for team communication and collaboration. Your team can use it to send group and private messages, share files, create searchable chat rooms, and integrate with more than 80 products on the market – most importantly, with the Atlassian product suite (Jira, Confluence, Jira Service Desk, and Bitbucket), as well as Twitter, MailChimp, Drive, Hangouts, and more.
This chat is just perfect for collaboration – it enables real-time messaging and file sharing to help your team stay connected and be more productive. The app offers a complete history of conversations to allow searching. Email and mobile push notifications make sure that everyone knows what’s happening even if they’re offline.
In my team, we use Hipchat for instant communication between team members. Since we also use other Atlassian products, we picked Hipchat to easily integrate it in our workflow – and we haven’t looked back since!
This brand-new Atlassian product combines the communication and collaboration features all teams need. Users can turn chat discussions into action by creating and assigning tasks right inside Stride.
They can mark productive chats as decisions and refer to them later on for clarity. One click is enough to move a chat conversation to a voice call or video meeting. By sharing screens during video meetings, discussions can instantly become presentations.
Stride users have full power over notifications – for example, going into Focus mode means that all notifications will be muted and users won’t get distracted. Notifications can be customized by room and device, because Stride works just as well on desktop as it does on mobile.
Have you got any questions about team chats and how they can be used to boost your team performance? Leave a comment or drop me a line – I’m always happy to share my experience and help other leaders in managing teams.