Workplace Communication and Technology

The fast pace of the development of modern technology can be listed among the key factors that have an impact on all spheres of human activity in the twenty-first century. Discussing this impact that the appearance of new means of communication has on the everyday life of people from any age group, it is extremely important to pay focused attention to workplace communication process in the modern world. In particular, attention is to be paid to how employees and their immediate superiors communicate in the twenty-first century. Nowadays, specialists in developed countries actively use communication devices, social media, and video calls for workplace communication, and it helps to strengthen the links between employees and managers, therefore making their relationships less formal.

The Nature of Workplace Communication

Workplace communication is among the key things that can have an impact on the effectiveness of working processes in general and the importance of the question under consideration in the context of workplace performance cannot be overstated. As for the general definition of the term, workplace communication can be described as the exchange of information of different types between individuals who work at the same organization. Workplace communication process can relate to communication between two or more colleagues who are at the same level of organizational hierarchy in a company. Also, this term refers to the exchange of information between specialists with different degrees of responsibility. When it comes to the latter, the impact of modern technology and commonly used means of communication on this type of workplace communication can make the relationships between managers and their employees less formal, and it has both positive and negative consequences depending on the situation.

The importance of the modern means of communication in the workplace cannot be overstated because they are successfully used to minimize the amount of time that specialists at different organizational levels spend on communication. For instance, prior to the popularization of mobile phones, specialists in large companies all over the world had to use fixed line phones that could not be established in any office of a company. In case of the necessity to make an announcement, different specialists from corporate management teams were required to disseminate information, calling around the representatives of different departments. Therefore, businesspeople of the past had to spend a lot of time to disseminate important information. Nowadays, workplace communication presents a process that does not take a lot of time and, therefore, allows managers to inform their employees about the most recent changes without drawing them away from their work.

The ways in which modern managers and employees communicate have significantly changed due to the development of modern technology. Discussing modern workplace communication and its key features, many researchers claim that the way of making business has changed and it does not have a positive impact on interpersonal communication. In particular, researchers highlight that it becomes more challenging for modern people to get to know their managers, business partners, or subordinates due to the extensive use of modern methods helping to exchange messages (Burg, 2013). Among the methods to disseminate information that are used today, there is e-mail, short messages, social networks, and video calls via Skype or other software products (Leonardi, Huysman, & Steinfield, 2013).

Online and Offline Work

The development of modern means of communication and the high-speed Internet in the twenty-first century significantly changed workplace communication as it gave rise to telecommuting or remote work. The growing number of people who can “permalance” due to the rise of communication technology is changing modern workplace communication as people do not need to engage in face-to-face communication to be the members of one team.

When it comes to employees and managers who work together on a daily basis, their interpersonal communication is also highly impacted by the constant use of modern technology. Trying to reduce time spent on communication, many managers use various real-time chat applications to facilitate workplace communication. Even though such practices are time-saving, the use of these applications does not always have a positive impact on the psychological well-being of employees as they can report a lack of face-to-face communication at work. Discussing the impact of technology on workplace communication process in modern companies, many researchers highlight the role of text messaging and consider it to be the future of workplace communication. In his article on business communication in the United States, Kiddie (2014) states that the appearance of wi-fi enabled devices is among the key factors that have changed modern workplace communication practices in the country in the middle of the 2000s. According to the results of the survey conducted by this researcher, the majority of employees in different types of companies take their communication devices to work to keep in touch with both families and immediate superiors. According to the research, the popularity of text-messaging in workplace communication will continue to grow, and business communication courses will need to be updated to reflect this tendency.

Conclusion

In conclusion, technology has a significant impact on modern workplace communication and social interactions between employees and managers because it decreases time spent on communication. The use of real-time chats, social media, video calls, e-mails, and short messages can make the communication between managers and their subordinates less formal and allows the former to supervise the work of the latter in a more effective manner.

References

Burg, N. (2013). How technology has changed workplace communication. Forbes. Web.

Kiddie, T. J. (2014). Text (ing) in context: The future of workplace communication in the United States. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 77(1), 65-88.

Leonardi, P. M., Huysman, M., & Steinfield, C. (2013). Enterprise social media: Definition, history, and prospects for the study of social technologies in organizations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(1), 1-19.