With many employees using WhatsApp as a messaging tool in their personal life, it’s understandable why this platform might easily blend into workplace communications—but can that pose challenges and risks to your business?
Instant messaging has revolutionized the way employees communicate in workplaces. It has taken over emails as the primary means of connecting in the workplace, providing a faster way to communicate in real-time. According to a survey by ReportLinker, 43% of employees use instant messaging at work, likely due to the increasing pool of millennials joining the workforce.
Arguably the most widely used instant messaging tool today is WhatsApp—a tool initially used for personal communication, that many businesses have now seen blend into workplace-related discussions due to its ease of use and familiarity. As of this year, there are about two billion WhatsApp users around the world. However, using this consumer-based messaging app for professional purposes can bring several challenges and risks to your company. Let’s break down the top reasons why Whatsapp may not be the ideal solution for your team communications.
Most people think of WhatsApp as their social app to talk to their family and friends. Because of this, using it for work causes inefficiencies in communications, as its interface mixes all your conversations in one platform. This can create confusion in your communication as you sift through chat topics from both your personal and professional contacts. When this happens, work-related information can accidentally be sent to external contacts in your personal life, while personal topics can accidentally make their way into a conversation with your boss or colleague. At the same time, the mix of personal and professional conversations can serve as a distraction to the workday as social and work life blends together.
With these reasons, your team needs to have a dedicated company communication tool that will help streamline your conversations and create a centralized place for work-related discussions only. By moving away from consumer apps to connect with the workforce, you can eliminate chats irrelevant to work and in turn boost productivity and efficiency.
WhatsApp’s simple interface comes with limitations, especially for administrative control. For instance, if there’s a new person in your organization, they will need to provide their personal phone number so you can add them into Group Chats. On top of this, you will not have the ability to grant permission or access settings to them, nor will you have the insight into their usage analytics.
Having a company-wide communication system, with complex user management and reliable admin control features ensures your ability to adjust permission settings, suspend accounts of employees once they leave the company, sort contacts into groups by location or department, and more. Most importantly, the ability to gain insight into usage analytics allows you to get a better understanding of their engagement and productivity levels. Having your own workplace chat app also enables you to automatically add newcomers using other credentials, such as work email, without the need to ask them for their personal numbers and painstakingly add or remove them one by one.
WhatsApp serves solely as a chat platform without any functions for task management, project collaboration, HR processes, shift reporting, auditing and more. Because of this, it’s likely that you will need to juggle it along with other platforms to get work done efficiently. At the same time, Whatsapp’s chat functionalities are not designed to handle complex projects or multi-layered discussions. With it’s one panel chat interface, messages easily get lost in the stream which makes traceability extremely low.
Introducing an all-in-one workplace platform for your team can help overcome this. Look for tools that have both communication and collaboration features in one place to help streamline the way your team works together. Such platforms that come with the ability to create subtopics for conversations are also particularly useful in keeping discussions organized and ensuring crucial information don’t fall through the cracks. WIthout the need to juggle various apps and platforms, work can be done efficiently across various job functions in harmony.
According to data from the US National Vulnerability Database, a US government repository of flaws, the app disclosed 12 vulnerabilities in 2019—seven of which were classified as “critical.” Before that, the authorities already questioned the messaging platform’s security. The Electronic Frontier Foundation ranked it as one of the worst for user’s data privacy, even though WhatsApp said they provide end-to-end encryption on their app.
Because of this, WhatsApp puts your business at risk by putting your sensitive information in danger to people outside your organization. With this alarming reason, it is more necessary than ever for your team to use a communication application that provides business military-grade encryption for all your data. This security means that messages and files you sent will be encrypted both at rest and in transit. Using a secured communication tool surely puts your mind at ease, as it ensures that all your data and documents are safe using the strictest security required.
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