How is the face of business communication changing?

I’ve had the privilege of working in both corporate office settings and the freelance, work from anywhere with an internet connection environment. There are so many variables, it’s impossible to say one is always better than the other. But there is one constant: communication.

BYOD and Endless Notifications from More and More Applications

The floodgates have opened. The modern workforce has grown accustomed to bringing their own device (BYOD) to work. This provides workers with a level of comfort and efficiency that just isn’t possible with a traditional, corporate-issued arsenal of business-grade tech.

In addition to this shift in how personal and corporate technology intermingle, there has been an explosion of communication apps – Facebook messenger, Skype, Twitter DM, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord, LinkedIn, it goes on and on. And yes, I’ve conducted business across all of these platforms – including deals that resulted in tens of thousands of dollars changing hands.

Modern workers are suffering from notification overload – with buzzes, chirps and dings constantly demanding their attention. Is it any wonder that the average person struggles to compete with a goldfish’s attention span?

Corporate Drones and Small Businesses are United in their Desire for Work/Life Communication Boundaries

Small business VOIP phone systems are making a resurgence. Why? Workers and small business owners have learned to be careful what they ask for. In the race to choose our own tech and do more over text / instant message, the boundaries between personal and professional communication have eroded.

All the extra screen time – whether it’s work or play – isn’t good for us. Our mobile phone addiction is actually contributing to skyrocketing anxiety and depression. And now that the devices we work on fit in our pocket, we can’t seem to escape the electronic leash of our employer(s).

The solution is going back in time, with a modern twist.

One solution is to turn off our devices and totally disconnect for periods of time. But that can feel like cutting off our digital self. Our virtual personality is becoming a bigger part of our real-world persona. So turning off a smartphone just isn’t a realistic option for most people.

So, in a predictable cycle we find ourselves moving back to the comfort and inconvenience of traditional work phones – both landlines and cells. But this time around things are better thanks to advances in cloud infrastructure. VOIP phone systems are now able to work remotely – on our terms – via applications that can be loaded onto iOS and android devices. Voicemail can be transcribed and delivered to our computers and smartphones. 

The future is now. Employees are taking advantage of the old-school desk phone to catch a healthy chunk of workplace communication during off-time, without giving up remote access as needed.

James Lang

James is the Editor of Small Business Sense. His background includes freelance ghostwriting about things that impact SMEs, startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. He hasn't had a boss in more than six years, and hopes his content will help you fire yours.