Happiness is…Useful Team Communication Tools

The famed French author and philosopher Albert Camus, once said, “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” Pronouns aside, Camus was onto something.

Today, both women and men are finding happiness in the unlikeliest of places: work. And many of the happiest places to work (many of the happiest companies to work on this list have something in common—nearly two-thirds of them are Jive customers!) aren’t “places” at all. Thanks to new technologies, employees have been freed from the office to pursue the once-elusive goal of “work-life balance.” Employees can now use mobile solutions and collaboration platforms to stay connected to their jobs from anywhere at any time, allowing them to work wherever and whenever it works best for them.

Work-Life Balance

Of course, work-life balance means different things to different people. Modern life is filled with pressures and distractions that didn’t exist during Camus’ time. Between rush hour traffic, kids’ soccer practice, cocktail hour for mingling and myriad other obligations, it’s a wonder there’s any time left in work-life balance for actual work—or life. In other words, technology must respond to our needs, not the other way around. To paraphrase another Nobel laureate, historian Christian Lous Lange, technology is a useful servant but a bad master.

Consider email. Those who once delighted at receiving emails now bemoan its tendency to take over their lives. According to a recent online survey of 400 white-collar workers, employees admitted spending an average of 6.3 hours a day dealing with emails! 87% said they checked work emails outside of business hours. But that’s not even the worst part. Half of the respondents checked their company email while on vacation. So much for work-life balance.

And email isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s only getting worse. Between 2011 and 2015, the amount of emails received and sent shot up 22% and 24% respectively. That wouldn’t be such a big problem if it were an effective tool for business communications. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Only 16% of employers are satisfied with their ability to measure the effectiveness of internal communications. That’s in line with the 17% of employees who feel their company does a good job of communicating company-wide initiatives or policy updates. So much for email as the fix.

 

The Modern Way to Communicate is in Real-Time

What if there was a way to turn back the tide on email with a solution that actually made employees more informed, productive and happy? There is: instant messaging (IM) for work places. Millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. workforce percentage-wise, are not newcomers to IM and team communication apps. They’ve been using them all along—often to communicate with coworkers. In fact, 73% of respondents to a Software Advice survey reported using freemium, consumer-style IM apps in the workplace every day. 55% relied on them multiple times each day.

By harnessing the power of a secure, mobile instant messaging app like Jive Chime, employers are reaping the benefits of happier employees. And when social collaboration tools are used across the enterprise, employers experience a 15% boost in productivity. In addition, companies with effective internal communications report 47% higher returns to shareholders. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” In other words, if you give your employees the tools that let them to enjoy that elusive work-life balance, everybody’s happy.

 

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