Communication is of upmost importance, especially in the workplace. Thanks to technology such as smartphones and laptops we are always connected, so communicating should be easier than ever. Texting has become the preferred method of communication for many, since it can be more convenient and quicker than picking up the phone. Because of these factors, the popularity of texting is not limited to just your personal life, so it has become difficult to differentiate when texting personally and professionally.
We recently spoke to a recruiter in the industry who shared a story about one of his candidates that had a job offer pulled due to a text conversation with someone in human resources at his potential future employer. Hearing this story got the content team thinking about different potential pitfalls of texting in the workplace and how they can be avoided.
Pay Attention To Timing
Although we are connected 24/7 that does not mean business should be conducted on that schedule too. Texting your boss/colleagues/subordinates about business-related issues should be limited to work hours. While it might be acceptable to send an occasional email during non-working hours, texting after hours usually signifies a sense of urgency, so unless that is the case it is recommended to pay attention to the timing.
Everyone’s definition of being “professional” is different, but there are a few things you can avoid doing in professional text exchanges. While you might be tempted to have a light conversation and use emojis, you probably shouldn’t. If you text with your friends using “text lingo,” (i.e., “wat r u doin?”), remember that spelling and punctuation count in every form of professional communication, texting included.
When it comes to business-related texting, there is a sense of immediacy involved. If it wasn’t a timely matter, it could probably be sent in an email. Therefore, if you get a work-related text from a boss/client/colleague you should respond in a timely manner. That said, there is a different between responding and reacting so one of the benefits of texting is that you can the time to craft a thought-out response. Although we expect texting to be instantaneous, don’t let the convenience and speed effect your response.
Sign Off Gracefully
It can be difficult to end a conversation over texting in both your personal and professional lives. With the advent of “read receipts” on iPhones, one can see if the person they’re texting with has read the latest message. Sometimes you might get “left on read,” meaning the other person never responds. However, this isn’t really a great way to end a conversation with someone regardless of personal or professional nature. When the goal of the conversation is met, you can end the conversation with a simple “thank you,” instead of exchanging awkward pleasantries at the end.
These days it seems like everyone has a smartphone, from your grade-school-aged brother to your grandmother. Texting has become a primary form of communication for people of all ages, and the rise in popularity is making waves in our lives. In the business world, texting is also a popular way of communicating with you colleagues/clients and even a way of conducting interviews. However, just as you wouldn’t talk to your boss the same way that you’d talk to your friends, you wouldn’t text them the same way either. Next time you’re texting your boss, make sure you avoid these common pitfalls!