Every part of our business world is being changed by AI — even the way in which we communicate. Here’s how this is occurring today.
In today’s business world, face-to-face communication and interactions don’t happen as frequently as they did in the past. We rely more on conference calls, email, and social media to make communication faster, easier, and more feasible.
However, these same tools have also made it more challenging for us to form relationships with those we’re doing business with — something that’s especially true for the mature workforce, but not so much so for millennials. Nevertheless, technology has now become the norm both in our communication and in other parts of our work environment as well.
The Fast Got Faster
Artificial Intelligence communication can help you reduce the amount of time you spend in conversations, which results in better experiences for customers. This was first seen when email hastened communication. Being able to send virtually signed (a.k.a. e-signatures) documents as attachments made emails even more productive.
Tools like Skype followed this making conference calls both feasible and logical since you could talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Now we’re seeing other new tools arise — things like Slack, Trello, Atlassian, and Facebook’s Workplace. These are beneficial because of they:
· Increase our ability to work remotely since we can complete projects without being in the same room.
· Boost efficiency since they help us communicate, share information and knowledge, collaborate, and work on various tasks and projects simultaneously.
· Increase cross-functional engagement since they let us have important discussions.
Challenges in Communication
Nothing in life is perfect and that’s true here as well. So, while workplace communication tools have greatly enhanced our collaboration and communication, they’ve brought some drawback with them as well. Now there’s no longer enough time to even pause and reread your email before sending it.
As such, you may be susceptible to various mistakes as communication has now become almost reflexive and impulsive. As such, it’s difficult not to involve your emotions since you don’t have time to pause and rethink what you’re saying. The pressure of responding immediately also increases the likelihood of responding emotionally without thinking everything through first — something that could get you in trouble.
There’s also an issue with engagement as more discussions are occurring in virtual environments instead of face-to-face today. While this saves money on things like travel expenses and has regular meetings with team members geographically anywhere. All that’s great because now we’re closer to our homes and spending less of the company’s resources.
However, it also eliminated the physical bonding that occurred through these meetings — even if it was just a handshake. No longer are we even engaged and conducting face-to-face meetings with those in our own office. Instead of walking across the office to your co-worker’s cubicle to have a discussion, you simply use your communication tool to quickly drop them a message.
This is bound to continue over the course of time, meaning we’ll be ‘seeing’ even less of our colleagues as we spend even more time communicating through tools, apps, and systems. Nevertheless, we still need to stay engaged and connected as a team.
We need those synergies that naturally happen within cross-functional and departmental teams. We can’t afford to have a highly disengaged work environment. As humans, we have an inherent need to have interactions, engagements, and communications that stimulate our senses — something that will continually decrease as we use more communication tools.
Use of Advanced Technology
Today’s businesses have truly evolved. This has rapidly occurred on a global level. Things like virtual teams, agile talent and remote offices are no longer trends — they’re global realities allowing us to conduct business with partners, suppliers, and customers who are located in other places throughout the world.
This is because time zones and office hours no longer matter as much today. We can communicate, make decisions, seek information, and learn new things at any time of the day or night now thanks to advancements in mobile technology.
The traditional 9–5 hours are quickly becoming history. Today’s employees have the flexibility to work later and leave earlier because enhanced voice AI communication lets us stay in touch regardless of where we are at the time. We can send emails, have conference calls, and send documents from almost any location throughout the world.
Since our global village is so connected and still shrinking, being on a call with your business partner in the middle of the night is no longer unthought of. This type of flexibility is now required, meaning we must all be much more accountable too.
Another thing that’s simultaneously happening is that people can now strike a great work/life balance. This isn’t because their priorities have changed. It’s simply because their possibilities have increased, making it so you can now attend your child’s school play while taking care of business at the same time.
No longer is it impossible to arrive home on time for a family dinner either. The tradeoff here is that you may need to answer your mobile phone or send an email while there, but many people think this is fair.
Improving the Future of Communication
Unfortunately, disengaged offices aren’t very productive or effective. Nevertheless, we can’t avoid this revolution in communication either. As such, we should consider making a few tweaks like:
· Hosting engaging activities is essential
· Setting boundaries play a critical role in successfully embracing today’s technology. This is similar to email etiquette. The only difference is that you must now apply these boundaries and standards to how your communication flows through these tools that you’re using. This will define your company’s culture and help everyone maintain healthy working relationships.
· Understanding that it’s easy to get burnt out when you’re expected to reply and always remain in touch regardless of what time of the day or night is also essential. You must set parameters that let you enjoy some personal time too.
While workplace communication is a vital part of conducting business today, you need to find ways to enhance business performance through technology. Doing so will improve your business and your employees’ well-being too.