Remember the days when communicating with colleagues always involved walking down the hall? Now voicemail and e-mail are the norm and companies are tapping newer forms of technology to improve communications with employees, according to a new report from IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology.
Of the 1,400 IT executives surveyed for the study, more than half say their firms either use or anticipate using online training and videoconferencing.
“Employees are operating on information overload, and they need good resources to help them process data effectively,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Technology tools can help companies collaborate more efficiently, preserve and share corporate knowledge, and reduce expenses.”
Robert Half Technology asked IT leaders what tech tools their firms use or plan to use in the next five years for employee communication. Collaborative workspaces like Microsoft SharePoint are used by 34% of IT leaders, while another 19% intend to deploy within the next five years. Blogs are present in 14% of the organizations, with 11% planning to tap them in the future. Tagging software is deployed in 13% of organizations, with another 16% planning to make use of it in future. Wikis got 11%, with 10% intending to deploy going forward. And finally, only 6% of IT leaders say their companies use virtual worlds for communication, and just 7% plan to take advantage of them in the near future.
Lee notes that many businesses are taking a cautious approach to emerging forms of communication because of the effectiveness and reliability of in-person communication for keeping employees connected, informed and motivated.