Business Communications

Written by Serena Berger
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Arguably the greatest advancement in business communications over the last decade or so has been the advent of email. It provides a fast, reliable and typically free method of communicating with individuals both within and outside of your company. In addition, it allows you to maintain a record of all of your discussions in the event that you would need to reference them later on.

There are limitations, however, to the use of email. One shortcoming is that it does not allow for real-time communication. In many ways, email is similar to online forums in which users can post messages for others to read. Though it is a convenient way to share information, it is more like passing notes to each other than having a true "conversation." You may also run into problems if someone does not check his email and you have no way of knowing if he didn't read it, didn't receive it, or isn't responding.

Using Instant Messaging Software to Improve Business Communications

One way in which many firms are advancing beyond email is by using instant messaging software. These products have gained popularity in the consumer realm, allowing people to communicate with each in real-time. In many ways it is more polite to send an IM than to use a telephone. If someone is in an important meeting, he can allow the messages to wait on his computer and respond to them when it is convenient for him. If he is free to "chat," other coworkers will not be distracted by his conversation.

While companies could rely on consumer-grade instant messaging products, which are usually free, corporate instant messaging products have been developed that allow employees to communicate with other users within a specified network. This allows companies to benefit from instant messaging without incurring the risks associated with it such as virus attacks and decreased employee productivity.

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