The first text message was sent nearly a quarter century ago. But in the ensuing decades – and the avalanche of technology that has come with it – nothing has come along that has been capable of replacing the accessibility, cost, intimacy and reach of SMS communication. From construction sites to corporate offices, text messaging is still the most direct and immediate form of non-verbal communication available in the workplace.
As discussed in the article “3 Tips for Using SMS Messages as a Business Tool,” SMS can eliminate – or at least greatly reduce – the staggered arrival and inconsistency that goes along with so many business meetings. A mass text to all interested parties with a reminder that a meeting is taking place in 10 minutes will take the excuse away from the serial stragglers and give a friendly reminder to those who legitimately lost track and forgot a meeting was taking place.
People check mobile texts much more frequently than email, and are far less likely to miss an important text. If employees are on different floors, different departments or in different buildings altogether, a simple SMS message can cut through the red tape of collaboration software and render unnecessary the headache and unreliability of mass emails. Simply send a mass text to all interested parties, they can respond immediately, and anyone who doesn’t need to be on the thread can simply opt to stop receiving updates.
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a philosophy that defies conventional wisdom – but one that has proven to be incredibly beneficial. Traditionally, most managers have frowned upon employees using their phones at work. But BYOD encourages them to bring their own mobile devices and link them to the employer’s wifi network. Then, they are able to work on a familiar device and connect with supervisors other employees through SMS messaging.
For businesses, this alleviates the need to purchase, maintain, update, secure, account for and replace expensive mobile devices. But the bigger benefit might be the pressure BYOD takes off human resources. When employees bring their own devices, they don’t have to be trained. When they quit or are fired, their replacement comes in already up to speed and ready to hit the ground running.
SMS technology has been around for two decades, and from marketing to inter-office communication, it is still one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of businesses of all sizes. Managers can use SMS to schedule meetings and to unify scattered employees for a collaborative project. But when a BYOD policy is instituted, employees come to work with their own devices, which they already know how to use, adding even more fluidity and efficiency to the already powerful technology.
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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