Text messaging with cell phones is a common method of communication outside the workplace. Texting naturally filters into the small business in some situations, especially when employees are issued a company cell phone. Texting for either personal or professional reasons during work hours comes with pros and cons as well as safety and privacy concerns.
Years ago, employers’ biggest concern about communication during work hours involved employees using the business’s phone line to make expensive long distance phone calls on company time and with company money. However, the days of paying for long distance phone service have mostly gone the way of dial up internet connections and Facebook as exclusively a college student hangout.
Text messaging offers a direct way to contact colleagues when you need an immediate response. This communication option is beneficial if employees work at different locations and don’t have the time for an actual phone call. The shorthand of texting can be faster and easier than a full email message or phone call, especially for employees who text frequently. Texting also offers an inaudible office environment than talking on the phone. For this reason, text messages offer a semi-private communication option since phone conversations are easy to overhear.
Employees with less experience in technology and texting often avoid this communication method. The abbreviations used in text messages are sometimes confusing, which may cause misunderstandings or waste time while the recipient tries to decipher the code. Text messaging costs more on the cell phone package.
Texting often distracts a person from other tasks in the workplace. In an environment that uses heavy or dangerous equipment, a texting employee may become injured or find himself in danger while being distracted by the texts. Employees who drive during the course of the workday also run into the danger of texting and driving. The distracted driving increases the risk of a car accident. Certain states restrict texting in vehicles.
Dr. Kalpana K. Deshmukh
Indira School of Business Studies,