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Using mobile tech to make your staff more communicative

We might complain that mobile phones are making us more insular. But mobile technology can also be used to get your staff talking…

Mobiles are a vital part of our working lives now – but there are still some people that feel we spend more time with our faces plastered to small screens than talking to colleagues.

Young hipster man working on laptop in coffee shop

It doesn’t have to be like this – mobile technology can help people in offices to communicate better, if used properly.

Use social networks
Social media isn’t just about Facebook and SnapChat – there are a number of social sharing networks that are aimed solely at business people.

Two of the most popular – Yammer and Slack – are based on letting people working more effectively together through easier sharing and faster communications.

They can take some integrating into office life, but once everyone’s using them the results tend to be excellent. Some predict these could replace emails in the not too distant future.

Make them more ‘social’
While the above platforms are for internal work, your company will still have a social media presence. And your employees should be getting involved with it.

Firstly, draw up some guidelines about what can and can’t be posted on the feed. After that, let them get on with it. By interacting with the social feeds, they’ll learn more about what people are doing in your office and can also have a little fun with it.

Get them to submit ideas
Meetings can be great brainstorming sessions, but not everyone in your company will be happy speaking up in these situations.

For those who prefer to communicate via technology, why not set up a system whereby there’s a place everyone can submit ideas to.

Apps like Google Keep and Evernote allow various people to post content and update lists. These can be the perfect place for idea generation documents.

Collaborate and listen
Likewise, for bigger projects why not use cloud storage apps to allow people to be constantly in the loop with what’s happening.

By getting your team to register for Google Drive or DropBox, you can upload and share projects that can be edited whenever and wherever your staff are.

They can also add notes to projects, documents and spread sheets so that staff can communicate their ideas when they come to them, not just when they’re at their desks.

Run office polls
Whether it’s on Twitter or through internal networks like Yammer, you can run regular office polls on both serious and silly subjects.

This will allow your staff to have their say without having to express why. It could be on anything from the choice of office biscuits to the HR policy.

Embrace video chat
The stigma behind using video chat in public is starting to fall away, so it’s now time to embrace it in your office.

Video calls are much more personal than voice calls and emails and can help people convey the subtleties of their message through facial expressions.