Communicating in real-time at work: The promise and the perils

July 1, 2020 Updated: November 2, 2022 by

Real-time communications (RTC), such as instant messaging, video calling, tele/video conferencing and internet relay chat, have become central to how people communicate and work inside organizations. During the COVID-19 crisis, these tools have assumed even more importance.

DWG’s new research report Communicating in real-time at work: The promise and the perils explores the ways organizations and teams use these tools under four main headings:

  • Too much choice
  • Adoption in organizations
  • Governance and etiquette
  • Organizational expectations and employee wellbeing.

The report looks at the current state of such tools, taking a snapshot of those used by a range of DWG member organizations, and considers the benefits and challenges of how they are used. It then presents practical approaches and tactics for how to optimize their implementation, adoption and use by employees, drawing on case studies to illustrate and bring out good practice and guidance on etiquette.

Without strategy or governance, however, these channels can risk confusion among team members around which option to use, and potentially cause dilution of messages, inefficiency in searching for information and data security breaches. The report outlines how these pitfalls can be avoided as well as how the implementation of RTC tools can be built on a firm foundation that supports both user and business goals.

Also considered is the role these tools play in the “always on” approach to work, where digital tools can prevent users from really “leaving the office” at the end of the day, with work chat and messaging pervasive and persistent, and increasingly encroaching into the home. Some strategies that organizations have used to protect their employees, as well as to promote downtime and wellbeing, are outlined in the report.

Featuring a number of examples from organizations, along with an in-depth case study from Diabetes UK, which focuses on how the charity used real-time communication and collaboration to help retain its high-quality team, this report will aid you in establishing useful, secure and robust RTC tools as part of your digital workplace.

As a non-member, you can download a free report excerpt of Communicating in real-time at work: The promise and the perils.

Get access to the full report and 75+ other best practice digital workplace reports

DWG members have access to this full report, which forms part of DWG’s best practice research library of 75+ reports covering key areas such as strategy and governance, personalization, user experience and change management for intranets and digital workplaces.

Find out what else is in the library and new research that’s coming up. Contact us to learn how to gain access to this library via DWG membership.

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Communicating in real-time at work: The promise and the perils


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Categorised in: Collaboration, Digital workplace, Future of work, Internal communications, Mobile sites & apps, Research reports, Strategy & governance

Nicole Carter

Leading on consultancy projects focusing on intranet governance and strategy for DWG, Nicole Carter is a freelance consultant, researcher and editor specializing in intranets and digital workplaces, employee adoption of new corporate systems, smart working and business change. She has a track record of delivering user-focused intranets and systems which make it easier for people to do their jobs. After leading on the successful delivery of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s intranet, she helped the Scottish Government rationalize its 50,000 pages of verbose content into something useful. This new digital workplace core led to supporting the business and cultural change behind the rollout of a case management system to over 14,000 employees. With a background in smart working, project management, business change, stakeholder engagement and product design, Nicole enjoys the challenge of helping people to actually do something rather than just talk about it.

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