As a platform, WhatsApp is quick, easy to use, and we’re all hooked in it. The app was initially intended to be used for personal messaging but has recently gained popularity in workplace communication.
Why WhatsApp for Business is a bad idea
Because WhatsApp is so familiar and accessible (and free), it can become a tempting ad-hoc solution for business communication. The app is great for easily communicating with friends, family and other informal relations. However, there are some important factors that are often overlooked when using this method of communication for work.
To serve our clients as best we can, we aim to spend our resources in the most productive and time-effective way possible. Here are a few reasons why we at Catchatiger do not accept WhatsApp as workplace communication :
WhatsApp for business decrease productivity.
Using Whatsapp decreases employees’ productivity by increasing the amount of time spent comparing threads and consolidating input from different platforms. Juggling these multiple conversations can easily lead to confusion and disjointed communication.
Whatsapp in business leads to internal communication burnout when employees are confronted with work weekdays and weekends.
Employees feel like Whatsapp chats cross personal boundaries and prefer to keep their personal and business lives separate.
Creates unrealistic expectations.
Our digital society promotes instant gratification and those sending a Whatsapp often expect an instant response. This adds pressure and anxiety to employees to constantly respond to client requests on their personal phones. Not only is this counterproductive to the task at hand but unfair to the other clients we are servicing.
Lacks necessary backup and functionality.
Business communication platforms are designed with supporting functionalities and a variety of plugins. This includes consolidating emails into folders, searching through multiple threads and creating a clear timeline of the project at hand. Whatsapp, on the other hand, does not have these functionalities and this creates double administration in trafficking the tasks at hand.
WhatsApp for Business often bleeds into the personal lives of those involved.
We realise that clients often prefer to communicate as quickly as possible. However, at Catchatiger we place a high price on our employees’ personal space and feel that the balance between work and private life should be respected. Experience has shown us that employees who are allowed to shut off from work after hours are eager to please and mentally present during their nine-to-fives.
What about Voicenotes?
Voicenotes are also not a preferable form of business communication and complicate the communication process, especially when the sender over communicates their needs and expectations. While recording your thoughts might seem quicker for the sender, it often demands much more time for the person receiving the voice note to figure out what the actual jist of the message is.
Not only does this cost the employee valuable productive time, but it also makes client-requests hard to keep track of throughout a project. Imagine trying to resolve a miscommunication dispute by having to go through numerous un-named voice notes in a thread.
So how should I communicate with my designer?
While we understand the time implications of sending emails, we cannot accept any work-related input through WhatsApp or voice notes. We take accountability very seriously and have found that the best way to assign tasks is by logging all client communication on a Project Management Tool like Monday.com. This also helps us to delegate tasks efficiently, ensuring that no work or requests fall through the cracks.
Emails are our preferred communication platform as it is professional and provides efficient ways to transmit all kinds of data. It is also a perfect traffic manager where you can easily track emails and keep records of what clients needs and expectations are.
We need to ensure that we have the time and capacity to reply effectively and accordingly to any work-related requests. Because of this, we only accept client communication through email and will be more reachable and responsive than any instant messaging platform.
We appreciate our clients understanding and mutual respect for the line drawn between all parties involved personal and professional lives.
Want to discuss this further? Feel free to send us an email 😉