Wednesday 12 December 2018

Your boss now wants to talk to you on WhatsApp

Stock image: WhatsApp
Stock image: WhatsApp
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Slack are now more popular than email at work, according to major new research.

A survey from BT Ireland shows that half of us now use instant messaging “more than email for work purposes”.

The work messaging boom shows that services such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger have made it past family circles and community groups and into the office.

But it also raises questions of when we ever get to switch off from work.

57pc of us now find instant messaging “easier to talk to senior colleagues”, with half of us “using it to gauge how busy colleagues are” at any hour.

A raft of recent surveys have shown that people now expect to work, or at least be contactable by employers, outside typical office hours as a matter of course.

The BT survey appears to confirm this embedding of habits, showing that people want more work connectivity instead of less.

Top of staff wishlists were “easier working and collaboration away from the office” and “corporate apps, instant messaging services and better devices” as well as “a more connected, video led workspace” generally.

Bosses are piling into this with relish, according to the BT survey.

Almost three quarters of Irish executives said “they would rather their IT department invested in better technology for use when on the move than at work”. This is a much higher percentage than the 57pc of executives asking for the same thing in other countries, when asked by BT.

It could also mean that Irish workplaces have relatively underdeveloped IT facilities compared to foreign companies.

But IT managers in Irish companies aren't happy, according to the survey.

82pc of Irish office IT managers complain of  a gulf in expectation and reality between them and their staff when it comes to delivering on IT functions.

According to the survey, four fifths of IT managers say that “employees often don’t understand how difficult it is to make our IT work effectively”, compared to the global average of 76 per cent.

They feel that delivering a more digital experience for employees is “piling even more demands onto their already long to do list”, according to the survey.

There is some evidence that Irish companies are behind the curve with their IT facilities, with 60pc still without a converged voice and data system.

Online Editors

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