4 Ways to Reap the Benefits of a Social Intranet’s Real-time Chat

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A 2011 survey by Robert Half predicted that real-time communication tools would overtake email by 2016. We’re just a year away from that deadline, and real-time communication is definitely gaining popularity among start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

There’s good reason, too, as companies are realizing the benefits that real-time communication tools – like chat or instant messaging (IM) – can bring to the workplace. Stand-alone IM tools abound, but you can supercharge your work with chat that’s incorporated into a more feature-rich platform such as a social intranet.

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Here are the top four reasons real-time chat via a social intranet should move to the top of your organizational communications priority list.

1. It will save you money.

Who doesn’t like saving money? Whether your organization has a stand-alone instant messaging tool, or it’s built into a more robust social intranet platform, gone are the expensive international – and sometimes domestic – long-distance charges associated with phone calls.

Instead of playing phone tag, instant messaging enables real-time communication between teams or individuals from any part of the world at a minimal cost. If you have a tool or platform that also enables video chat, you can also throw out the bill for any expensive teleconferencing software or frequent face-to-face in-person meetings for scattered teams. Not only is your communication improved, your bottom line is dramatically improved, as well.

2. It’s convenient.

Does it take more mental energy to pick up the phone and call someone (or heaven forbid, visit someone at his or her desk) or send a quick message via online chat? The convenience and ease of communicating via online chat will make employees more likely to collaborate because it requires less time and energy.

While it might seem petty, the ease of instant messaging could mean the difference between a team member deciding to ping another colleague for a quick answer or brainstorm session or not. The more often people talk and collaborate, the more likely they are to come up with innovative ideas that will help your business grow.

3. It’s less disruptive.

Today’s average office probably has about a dozen different methods of communication available to employees between email, in-person, phone, intercom, text, instant message…and fax (does even send those anymore?).

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Sometimes workers find it hard to get things done because of the constant disruptions resulting from too many notifications. In fact, the average worker is interrupted 43 times a day! The benefit of real-time chat is that it pops up on your computer screen (where you’re probably already spending most of your time looking) and can be addressed quickly. It can even let you know when someone is available or away from his or her desk, saving you time and headache.

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4. It’s instantaneous.

You send an email and wait for a response. You drop by someone’s desk for a quick question, and they’re not there. You play phone tag for days on end. These are all common office scenarios that slow down projects, making you lose momentum.

Instant chat, whether group or private, nips these issues in the bud, making it easy and almost effortless to reach people quickly and get a response - fast. This enables things to roll forward more seamlessly, a great benefit in a world where things are increasingly fast-paced, and quick turnaround is essential to impress and stay ahead of the competition.

Moving your communications and work over to instant messaging on a social intranet can help your organization reap a number of benefits. Changing the way you work – and how you communicate – not only affects your bottom line, it delivers improved communication and better productivity.

To experience what chat – and more – can do for you, sign up for our free 45-day trial of Incentive.