WhatsApp, the popular social media site has taken over the bulk of communication among humans, recording over a billion users a day. The social media network has spilled over into business, affecting communication at work, but many people are yet to separate the casual nature of the social network when communicating for business purposes.
Effective communication has been a topic of great interest among researches studying management. But with a lot of people now using WhatsApp at work, there seems to be some need for people to learn how to effectively use the social media site. Farai Prosper, who uses WhatsApp at work notes the need to treat it just like email when at work.
By Pearson Mbendera
“It’s just another way of communicating. You can treat it as email, write your message the same way you would write an email. But unlike an email it offers, a faster way of communicating on the go.” said Farai Prosper.
For all the requirements necessary for effective communication, it seem hard to reconcile people’s general social media tendencies with business communication. People’s profile pictures and their statuses may not present the best look for business.
Despite the popularity of social media, there are some who do not prefer WhatsApp at work as it does not offer a more reliable platform for business use as noted by Financial Analyst Gilbert Chamunorwa.
“We don’t use WhatsApp, its strictly email with us. We need to keep a detailed trail in case of an enquery, that’s why we prefer emails to WhatsApp.” said Mr Chamunorwa.
For some companies, not everyone can use WhatsApp to communicate with clients, only a select few have the access to use WhatsApp for official company business as one accounting firm where Tafadzwa Marihoho works has strict policy of WhatsApp use.
“There is a company cellphone that the CEO’s assistant uses for WhatsApp with clients, but that’s just it, everyone else doesn’t use WhatsApp when talking to clients.” said Miss Marihoho.
But despite all this, they still use WhatsApp in-house.
Using WhatsApp also depends with the type of business you are in. For some, using WhatsApp is inevitable as there is not better communication media available which is cheaper and can reach a lot of people.
Whatever you views on WhatsApp are, many have found a use for it at work. While there are many concerns over whether it works well or not, given the casual nature of the social media site, many people have trouble separating their social behavior with proper business behavior.
While people can exhibit unprofessional tendencies on WhatsApp, they can show the same via Email, thus, in the end, it has more to do with the person that the platform. But using WhatsApp at work needs precaution to be taken as it may send the wrong image of the organisation and how it handles its affairs.