For better and worse, apps have changedforever. They allow us to easily connect and collaborate with co-workers all over the world in real time.
However, that efficiency also means that we are having quick, perhaps even thoughtless, conversations in the heat of the moment. Conversations that leave a digital footprint aren’t easy to erase.
To make the best use of communication and collaboration apps, follow these rules:
Respect basic communication etiquette. Most people wouldn’t just barge into your office without knocking first or stop by your desk 10 times an hour. Apply the same etiquette to instant messaging, texting and collaboration tools.
Use them for low-stress brainstorming sessions. Such apps can be perfect for informally sharing ideas at a rapid pace, allowing people to brain dump without talking over one another. However, when you need to make important decisions or lay out a specific strategy, in-person meetings or conference calls are better to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Watch your “tone” and professionalism. This type of communication is built for quick, even curt answers that tend to stray from grammar, spelling and punctuation rules—and people love emojis. Don’t let informal (ahem, sloppy) writing sneak into your emails and other documents, especially those going to customers.
Don’t discuss personal, private or confidential information. It’s just too easy for sensitive information to be seen by people who shouldn’t be seeing it. Reserve those types of conversations for face-to-face meetings or phone calls.
— Adapted from “The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Communication In The Workplace,” Clayton Dean, Forbes, www.forbes.com.