Using Texting vs. Email Communication at Work

Josh Taylor
11/14/2022

Email App on Iphone

Checking our phones when it vibrates or beeps is so ingrained in our daily habits that most of us do it without thinking. When you think about communication for work, email or chat might be the first thing that comes to mind, but text is also becoming more popular for workplace communication. And when it comes to important company updates employees need to know, it is usually the most effective way of getting the message out to all of your employees at once. With 71% of people reaching for their phone in the first 10 minutes of their day, you’ll know that your message will be seen by employees before they head to work for the day. That’s critical when there is a closure, delayed opening, or shift change they need to know about. So how can your company implement texting employees? Let’s find out!

Can Employers Send Text Messages to Employees?

Employers often ask if they are even allowed to send text messages to their employees. In short, the answer is yes! In fact, some employees – especially younger ones – may even prefer text to email. The open rate for a text is often as high as 98%, meaning more people are seeing the message when compared to other formats. For employee communication of critical messages, this can be the way to go.

However, there are a few considerations and best practices to keep in mind if your company is considering adding texting as an internal communication tool. 

Employee consent to receive text messages: Like with most business texting, you should have consent from the employee to receive texts. While this may look different for each workplace and even each team, generally speaking if you are using a text management system consent will be given when their information is input into the system. However, employers should not give out employees’ phone numbers to colleagues without express consent from the employee (and it would be best to allow employees to share that type of personal information themselves). 

Employee Consent

Texting employees off the clock: Unless the message is related to scheduled shifts or safety relation information, it’s generally considered a best practice to refrain from texting employees when they are off the clock. Depending on where you live, there may even be laws around when employers can communicate with employees. In parts of Canada and in France, “The Right to Disconnect” laws allow employees to disconnect from work email outside of working hours, and may apply to other forms of communication as well.

Off The Clock

Have a company texting policy: Whether you will be using texting for rescheduling shifts, emergency notices, HR updates, or other internal communication needs, have a clear, written texting policy that is accessible to all employees. This should be shared with employees when you are starting the text program, or when they are hired. They can review the information before they give consent, so they are aware what type of messages they can expect to receive from the company to their personal cell phone.

Texting Policy

Don’t send too many messages: It’s one thing to text employees that the office is closed unexpectedly due to a power outage or other unforeseen circumstance. It’s another to send out daily texts to employees and inundate their phone with messages about shifts, news, or other work related text messages – especially if there is no formal, organized way your company does this. Employees may even receive the same message from multiple leaders. Utilizing a professional texting system will help you manage the mass texts and automated texts to employees, so that the message is short and to the point, effective, and sent to only relevant employees.

Too Many Messages

Texting vs. Email in the Workplace

While texting has increased in popularity for business related purposes, there are still use cases where email might be the best option. Here are some things you should consider with texting vs. email in the workplace.

How much detail does the message need? If you are sending a long message that has a lot of detail and will be more than a couple of sentences, email is probably the way to go.

Will your message impact their day? If you have an important safety update, site closure, or delayed opening to let employees know about, a text message will get them the information as fast as possible.

Do you need to share documents or other attachments? If it’s more than a simple message, or if you have documents, PDFs, or links that need action from employees, then you should send an email.

How fast of a response do you need? If your message is urgent or you have something that needs to be answered quickly, a text message is the best bet for a quick response.

What time is it right now? If it’s after hours and your message isn’t urgent, or if the person you need to message lives in a different time zone where it may be later or earlier (and no longer during acceptable hours), send an email. This is especially important if you live in an area where those “The Right to Disconnect” laws come into play.

Does your message even need a response? In most cases, if your message doesn’t require a response and is more informative in nature, then an email will work.

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Communicating Effectively with Texting in the Workplace

Communicate more effectively with texting in the workplace. You know that employees read their texts (you’ve probably even seen them do it from time to time on the clock). So get important messages about shifts, closures, benefits enrollment deadlines, or other key information to them in a way they are likely to see! 

With many different SMS tools available, you need one that can manage contacts, autoreply, and mass text at the click of a button. TxtSquad brings all of these features and more so that you can begin to better communicate with your employees. Book a demo or start a free trial to see how TxtSquad can help your employees be better informed at work.

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