Instant messaging was first conceived as a tool for personal communication to help people stay in touch with their personal circle.

However, as the technology has progressed through the years, businesses have learned how to take advantage of it, and now it is possible to use different apps to communicate with your coworkers without having to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

With time, more and more companies are introducing business instant messaging apps into their workplaces. This is being done in order to improve metrics like productivity and efficiency among workers.

However, there are plenty of misconceptions around instant messaging tools for business. There are many problems that crop up in these messaging platforms. For example, WhatsApp has been down multiple times in the same year. These types of issues give businesses pause, but in reality, the value outweighs the risk.

While enterprise instant messaging has been around for several years now, there are multiple misconceptions about it that stymie the growth of its use from a business and marketing perspective.

Let’s dig into a few of the misconceptions that might be keeping you from realizing the benefits of instant messaging for your business.

Instant messaging apps are a distraction rather than a tool.

It can be distracting to use an app like WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger to communicate with your coworkers. This can be true if not approached with a usage policy in place, but everything you implement in your business should have a policy behind it.

The workplace is meant to promote efficiency. Therefore, a chat app for the workplace should be able to fulfill the same function. Set forth guidelines for the use of the platform to guide your team to use it properly and thus effectively.

Software Advice completed a study where they found out that over 150 employees who used instant messaging apps developed especially for the workplace solved small problems in less time, while 21% of them exhibited higher productivity levels.

Apps like WhatsApp and Zoom are the best options out there.

It’s a common notion that using a consumer-lever messaging app, rather than an enterprise-level app, within the workplace is a wise choice. However, this is hardly the case.

Familiar instant messaging apps can have a negative impact on an organization. They tend to give the impression of less formality and thus lead to less effective use.

That’s why enterprise instant messaging apps have features developed specifically to improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. These tools also have security features and admin controls that are missing in regular consumer messaging tools.

Security is a huge concern right now, as many businesses turn to work from home scenarios. Cyber criminals target the lack of security as employees are using their home network rather than the more secure office network.

Privacy concerns about instant messaging apps.

There are numerous privacy-related problems when it comes to mainstream apps like Facebook Messenger.

The privacy policies tend to be ambiguous, and many issues, like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, have resulted from lax security functions on these platforms.

However, business instant messaging apps offer better security and reliability, meaning that your employees’ information is in safe hands. These apps were specially developed so that your enterprise is able to share information in a secure virtual environment.

It’s challenging to manage an instant messaging app at work.

This can be true if you’re using a mainstream app to communicate with your teammates. However, when you use tools like Slack or MS Teams, interactions become purely professional.

You can also easily monitor activity and thus you can ensure that the platform is being utilized for business purposes and not for socializing and other non-productive activities.

Using email is easier and better.

Many people are used to sending and receiving emails throughout the day, and changing a habit is a difficult task. However, more Millennials and Gen Z folks are joining the workforce. This calls for a change in communication habits, styles and tools. Instant messaging is the most common channel for communication among workers belonging to these generations.

Additionally, frontline and deskless workers don’t have access to a desktop or laptop at work. These workers usually don’t have official emails either (or at least not ones they use often). For these workers, email is not a convenient channel for intra-organizational communications.

A new genre of apps called the employee app has emerged to cater to the messaging needs of frontline and dispersed workers. These workers use their mobile devices for official interactions instead of desktops or laptops.

Therefore, a very niche and mobile-first employee app like Groupe.io, Beekeeper, Actimo, or the like, is the best way to engage this section of the workforce. Employee apps are a great alternative to email to connect with dispersed and remote teams as well.

It can be intrusive.

Work-life balance has been an ongoing debate between HR and IC folks. Fostering an environment that promotes healthy work-life balance is the key to reducing turnover, increasing brand value and improving job satisfaction.

Therefore, having a fixed window of time to execute official communications is a must. For instance, France implemented a law to prevent employees from receiving emails after 6 pm.

Instant messaging tools too have to incorporate the same protocol. There are many strategies that can be adopted within these tools in order to create a healthy work-life balance while allowing you to increase productivity levels.

Wrapping it up

Instant messaging tools are more advantageous than disadvantageous for a business. They streamline official communications, are secure and help in creating healthy boundaries between the personal and professional lives of employees.

If you want to streamline the efficiency of your organization’s communication, you should strongly consider an enterprise instant messaging app. The value is there, and your business will benefit, especially in our current environment.