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5 reasons why employees may prefer instant messaging over calling or email

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A male employee checking instant messaging on his mobile phone
70% of professionals used IM platforms daily in 2021 - Source: Statista | Photo: Michael Burrows

Implementing an instant messaging (IM) system in your workplace and prioritising it as the main form of communication for employees may actually prove to boost business productivity and overall business performance!

Many employees are preferring IM over email and phone calls, so if you’re thinking about championing IM in the workplace, here are 5 reasons to encourage you to do so for your employees:

  1. Seamless and quick communication between employees

Compared to email and phone calls, IM is a relatively faster way for employees to communicate without disrupting their usual work tasks. Messages are easily sent without the need to write a formal email or schedule a phone conversation at a time that is suitable for the parties involved.

In addition, phone calls can unnecessarily drag on, whilst emails can sometimes take a while to send and be received, making IM appear to be the best communication channel out of the three for quick and efficient communication between employees.

  1. Improved productivity with multi-tasking

IM fosters interpersonal communication, enabling collaboration to thrive in workplaces. This is done through the ease of multi-tasking with IM compared to email and phone calls that may sometimes require employees’ full attention. With IM, employees are able to quickly send messages and carry on with their tasks as usual. As a result, you can expect boosted productivity within the workplace.

  1. Additional features make it worth it

If you are new to the concept of unified communications, it would be a good idea to read through a beginners’ guide to unified communications to fully understand why IM is a great asset to the workplace, especially for employees. In particular, you may find that the extra features of IM platforms are what also makes it better than email or phone calls for employees.

For example, the ability to send GIFs or share screenshots and other images can be a great way for employees to improve relationships with each other – as long as they abide by messaging guidelines set by the company such as no bullying or harassment.

  1. Ideal for employees who may become anxious during calls

For employees who tend to get anxious when it comes to phone or video calls, IM is a suitable alternative for them to communicate with others. Although they may require to take part in phone or video calls in the future, having the option of IM can help reduce the need for such calls as communication can easily be done via messages.

However, this does not mean that you should eradicate email and phone/video calls in your workplace. Many employees still use email and phone calls, and they can be particularly useful for B2B communication – but for communication within the workplace, your employees may simply prefer IM.

  1. Easy and simple to use

IM is a communication channel that is used in workplaces across the globe, with statistics showing in 2021 that 70% of professionals used IM platforms daily. This is not surprising considering that IM is very simple and easy to use, with most IM platforms having a user-friendly interface. Unlike emails that may require some etiquette, IM is much more convenient to use.

Olivia Miller is a journalist and blogger regularly collaborating with media outlets and writing about entrepreneurship, brand authority and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Business

Disneyland Paris renames theme park in $2 billion revamp

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Facade os Disney Paris with Disney's characters standing in front of it
The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

Disneyland Paris has unveiled a new name for Walt Disney Studios Park as part of the park’s US$2 billion transformation.

Walt Disney Studios Park will become Disney Adventure World when the new immersive area, World of Frozen, opens.

The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

“We’re changing the story of Walt Disney Studios Park, evolving from ‘how it’s done’ soundstages to celebratory theatres and adventures that come to life in immersive worlds,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chief storytelling executive at Walt Disney Imagineering and senior creative executive for Disneyland Paris.

“These fully realised adventure worlds will become the focus of the park’s new identity and appear as realms that guests discover as they navigate deeper within the park and are invited to participate in adventures inspired by our most beloved stories.”

As part of the rebrand, the park’s entrance is also being reimagined, with the current design replaced with ‘crafted décor that pays homage to historic movie theaters in Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole.’

“Embracing a transformation that involves the overhaul of more than 90 percent of Walt Disney Studios Park since its debut in 2002, we’re unveiling a fresh creative vision that has completely redefined our second gate,” said Natacha Rafalski, president of Disneyland Paris.

Previous investments in the property include World of Pixar, which opened at the park in 2021 and Avengers Campus (2022).

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Business

EU economy forecast to grow 1.0% in 2024

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A woman paying for services at a beauty shop
Expected economy growth is largely due to consumers spending more this year | Photo: Christiann Koepke

The Commission has published this week a new forecast for the European Union economy, with a more upbeat scenario for consumers. After a downturn in economic activity in 2023, inflation rates will continue to drop and the EU economy should gradually grow in 2024. This is largely driven by ‘consumers spending more, thanks to higher wages and more job opportunities,’ it is believed. 

Concretely, the EU economy should grow 1.0% in 2024. The euro area economy should reach 0.8% of growth. In 2025, GDP will grow even more. Meantime, EU inflation has fallen dramatically since it peaked in 2022. It is expected to wind down to 2.7% in 2024 and to 2.2% in 2025.  

The jobs market is also performing well. Despite the slowdown in activity, the EU economy created more than 2 million jobs in 2023. Activity and employment rates of people aged 20-64 hit new record highs in the last quarter of the year. In March 2024, the unemployment rate in the EU stood at a record low of 6.0%. 

Some challenges remain. For instance, investment growth is slowing since fewer new homes are being built, which affects various industries. As a result, it is expected that interest rates will drop more slowly than anticipated. 

The Commission publishes four economic forecasts throughout a given year, covering GDP and inflation data for all Member States, the EU and the euro area. 

In the UK the scenario is also looking positive, with the Office for National Statistics having recently confirmed that the UK unemployment rate for January to March 2024 (4.3%) is above estimates of a year ago (January to March 2023), and increased in the latest quarter. 

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Mango to strengthens its presence in the UK with 20 store openings

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Mango store facade at Oxford street, London
At the close of the 2023 financial year, Mango had 60 stores in the UK

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion groups, continues its expansion and brand consolidation plan in the UK with more than 20 store openings planned for 2024. Growth is focused on expanding its presence in London and Scotland, as well as the arrival for the first time in several cities in Northern Ireland and central and southern England.

“The UK is one of the priority markets for Mango’s international growth. The increased presence in London and our arrival this year in some cities where we have not been present until now will consolidate the Mango brand and help us to strengthen it internationally,” says Daniel López, Mango’s Director of Expansion and Franchising.

The company plans four store openings in London this year, in addition to last February’s opening of a store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre in the heart of historic Windsor, close to Windsor Castle

Mango will also increase its presence in Scotland with store openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and for the first time will reach cities in Northern Ireland, as well as central and southern England. 

The new Mango store will incorporate the New Med Mediterranean-inspired store concept, reflecting the spirit and freshness of the brand. Sustainability and architectural integration are the key to this new design that conceives the Mango store as a Mediterranean home with different spaces in which warm tones and neutral colours predominate, combined with traditional, handcrafted, sustainable and natural materials such as ceramics, tuff, wood, marble, esparto grass and leather.

 
Mango has been present in the UK since 1999. In 2021, the company strengthened its presence in the country with the opening of a new flagship store on Oxford Street in London and three other stores in Manchester, Edinburgh and Derby. 

Last year, Mango opened more than 10 stores, mainly in the south and centre of the country, in major cities such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Leeds. Key among them was the store opening in Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. In addition, the company arrived for the first time in Brighton with a 470 m2 store in the Churchill Square shopping centre.

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