February 5, 2018

In-Context Workplace Communication: Chat Apps Vs Convo

As humans we communicate with each other everyday- at our homes, on social gatherings, with our friends and in offices etc. But how we do this varies from place to place. The same is the case with workplace communication.
People of today are no strangers to work chat apps. There are numerous apps like Slack, HipChat , Microsoft teams etc. in the market which promise to deliver organized workplace communication.
Chat apps are great for providing transparent communication and definitely an upgrade from email,  but they are limited in functionality. Teams of today cannot rely on chat apps alone for their productivity and require a more comprehensive toolset; which can offer them the flexibility of transparent collaboration as well as communication.

How Chat Apps Have Transformed Workplace Communication

It is no doubt that these apps have brought an end to the tyrannical rule of email on work communication. Let’s face it, with the pace at which things are working in modern day, nobody has the time to write lengthy and formal email replies – with proper subject lines and sentence structure.
People like to get things done fast and prefer to use short, to-the-point replies. In most cases, people don’t even have the time to write a textual response. Chat apps simplify this process by providing a dedicated space for every work conversation – without the pressure of having a formal tone or a well thought out response. In chat, even an emoji is enough to convey a message.
These apps provide a way for teams to have real time communication, give instant feedback and bridge the distance by giving a unified, transparent view of all communication that happens in a chat room or channel. This helps consolidate all information in one place and gets everyone on the same page.

Reasons Why Chat Apps Don’t Scale

As team sizes increase, the need for collaboration does to. Chat channels increase a team’s productivity as long as everyone is communicating in real-time. The expectation is that all the back and forth that happens in a chat channel will be helpful for someone who joins in later on, but the reality is far from it.

For example you are busy finalizing a design for one project and come back to a chat after a discussion on another design has been carried out. You would have no idea what the discussion was or what the conclusion was unless you read every single message that has been shared in that chat. This number could vary from a 100 to 1000 and even if the messages did not contain any substantial information, you are still expected to know what was talked about. So if you are not present during a discussion in real time, it becomes impossible to figure out what messages are meaningful and what are irrelevant chit chat.



Another problem with this situation is that after a conversation has been carried out, there is no way for you to go back and add your two cents in it, or worse- if you do it at the end of chat, it will start an entire new conversation demanding more time and more discussion.

Now imagine the same case with a bunch of documents thrown in the picture. Having a chat app makes timely, in-context collaboration on files impossible. Feedback is lost in the hundreds of messages shared in chat channels and getting to the right information while being contextually aware is no short of a hassle.

Another major drawback of chat is added distraction. Suppose you’re working on a task A with someone and a coworker sends you a chat requiring your urgent attention to another task B. Your focus is diverted towards task B and task A is left hanging. By the time you get done with task B, suppose a task C is handed to you by another teammate. At the end of the day when you return to task A (which you were originally planning to get done with), you have no idea what is happening and you need to go back in chat to find out.This not only delays the entire process but makes it even harder to do than if you had just stuck to finishing task A first and then getting to task B in a timely manner.

In short, chat channels serve as a basic platform for work communication and are irreplaceable when it comes to active conversations. But what you need is a tool that provides you the ability to do both: contribute in real time and also be able to add timely, in-context responses without it affecting your or the team’s productivity.

Productive In-Context Work Collaboration With Convo

In-context work collaboration plays an important role in getting things done effectively. It is imperative to establish a channel where things can be shared, discussed and worked over in a smooth manner.

Considering the basic need of every organization, Convo solves the problem of work chat apps by providing teams the ability to have timely discussions on files. This is done through sharing dynamic posts in dedicated groups. Think of groups as different chat channels and the posts as ideas/things being discussed within these channels. Groups and posts make all these discussions more consumable.

Post sharing within groups provides teams the flexibility of sharing information and collaborating on it at the same time. This collaboration happens in the form of comments. Comments work great while having discussions in real time, but also work equally when someone drops in on the discussion at a later time. This is done by deep threading of all comments made on a post.

For example someone shares a post with you containing some designs that require your feedback. You can add a response to it via a comment. Now if you require a second opinion, you can tag other team members in comments and ask for their feedback. When the said teammates join in on your discussion, they would only be required to read the comment threads that they were mentioned in rather than having to go through the rest of the comments as well. This kind of timely feedback will allow them to focus on only the parts that require their attention and get to their work without wasting any time.
Adding another layer of productivity, Convo offers the option of markup on file types of 60+ formats including images and videos. This means you can highlight the parts of documents you want to bring someone’s attention to and have in-context collaboration over these files from wherever you are.
pdf-thread (2)
Highlighting parts in posts or files adds their snippets to your comments. A teammate clicking on these snippets is immediately taken to the exact part you are talking about. So at step 1, comments ensure you can have productive discussions and add timely feedback and at step 2, markup and annotations ensure feedback is never lost in lengthy textual conversations and you are always contextually aware.
A major add on that Convo provides, which chat apps completely lack, is the unified newsfeed. This feed updates in real time and provides one central view for company wide activity. And for the conversations that need to happen in chat, Convo comes with a built in powerful chat feature which helps teammates have both p2p and group chats.

Why Make the Switch ?

All the things mentioned above, combined make a power pack for enterprise collaboration and help iron-out the issues that arise with having ‘just chat’ feature.
In simpler words, Convo is to chat apps like Facebook is to messenger. It has all the goodness of any chat app out there, and a lot more add ons.
See how Convo can fit your business needs, schedule a demo or try it out for free today.
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