COVID-19 appears to have had a massive impact on the way businesses communicate, with a new study revealing that the majority of workers now favor apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams over traditional forms of communication.
While emails aren't set to die out anytime soon, business chat apps appear to be growing in popularity due to their commitment to end-to-end encryption and their capacity for less-formal messaging.
With a recent report revealing that 75% of cyber attacks now start with an email, it's no surprise that business owners are leaning towards more secure communication platforms.
The Way Businesses Communicate Is Changing
Yesterday, the communications company Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD) released its first-quarter report on the current shape of communications in the workplace.
According to the report – which surveyed over 1,000 IT professionals – 51% of workers now prefer real-time messaging apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack, over email. Traditional phone calls have also appeared to decline in popularity, with the method of communication dropping 9% since 2019.
And these respondents aren't alone. According to a recent blog post from Slack, 80% of Fortune 100 companies, including industry titans like Airbnb, Time, and Zendesk, are now relying on its platform Slack Connect to connect their teams.
However, email loyalists can rest assured. Despite the use of these tools growing year on year, the study also revealed that this move toward business chat apps is beginning to level out.
This suggests that while solutions like Slack and Teams are more in-favor than ever, traditional workplace communication isn't set to die out any time soon.
Why are businesses favoring tools like Slack and Teams?
But why do the majority of professionals opt for instant communication platforms?
Well, according to the IT professionals interviewed for the report, while emails still appear to be the number one choice for more formal, lengthy forms of messaging, platforms like Teams and Slack are the perfect medium for day-to-day conversations.
“Chat is more like face-to-face. More attention on both sides for a short period of time. Much more efficient,” said an IT Professional from Spiceworks.
The accounts reveal that their slick, user-friendly interfaces and instant-messaging capabilities are massive reasons behind their uptick. And with 74% of U.S. companies currently or planning to implement a hybrid working model, it's likely these communication tools will continue to be useful into the future.
But real-time chat features aren't the only reason behind their success. Another reason employees are ditching emails in favor of newer tools is because of their commitment to security. As tools like Slack and Teams continue to evolve, they offer a range of useful security features including end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and enterprise mobility management.
In a climate where emails are no longer viewed as a secure mode of communication, it makes sense that teams are welcoming the use of safer tools.
How can business owners keep communications secure?
By connecting your team with tried and tested solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams, your business can avoid the security pitfalls that can come with more traditional methods. But this isn't the only way teams can communicate safely.
If your business relies fully or partly on email messaging, antivirus software is a great way to limit the danger of potential attacks. Since most phishing attacks are malware-based, a robust antivirus solution will ward off most threats before they enter your system.
The market is rife with cybersecurity tools, some more effective than others. To cut through the noise, read our guide to the best antivirus software for businesses.