Is Texting Considered Unprofessional?
In many workplaces, email is the go-to communication method. It’s a communication method that most people are familiar with, after all. And it makes perfect sense in an office setting, where emails are constantly swirling with important updates. The problem is, when people receive too many emails about less-important matters, it can quickly become distracting and lead them to start tuning their email out.
Texting is becoming a more accepted form of communication within industries like manufacturing and construction, where a large portion of the workforce is made up of non-desk employees, email is much less effective. This is especially true with the emergence of platforms like Yourco, with business-friendly features like scheduling texts to employees to avoid disrupting them while they’re working.
All of that being said, texting may not seem like a very “professional” communication method to everyone. But it can be—if used appropriately. Keep reading as we explore the line between professional and unprofessional, the differences between texting vs email in the workplace, and how to get texting right.
What Makes Something Unprofessional?
The word “unprofessional” simply refers to anything that doesn’t meet the expectations or standards of a certain profession or workplace. This highlights the importance of setting clear communication expectations and respecting employees’ boundaries.
When it comes to what is considered unprofessional within a given workplace, it’s all about context. In fact, one of the most commonly-identified unprofessional behavior examples is not respecting others’ boundaries. This applies to in-person interactions as well as digital communication (like email or texting).
Is Texting a Good Form of Communication in Business?
It certainly can be—with the condition that when and how it’s used matter a great deal. Next, let’s take a closer look at the when and how of texting employees in a professional manner.
When Is It Unprofessional to Text an Employee?
Before sending a text message to one or more employees, keep in mind that most people’s devices will notify them when they receive a message—whether it’s urgent or not. When employees are off the clock, it’s best to respect their personal time, not thinking about work. It’s best to resist the urge to send that text in the evening when it’s on your mind—if the information’s important, you might consider a scheduled send.
A platform like Yourco makes it easy to text employees while respecting their boundaries, with the capability to schedule text messages to be sent when employees are on the clock or during their breaks.
Is There a Law About Contacting Employees After Hours?
There is currently no official law against contacting employees after hours, but it is recommended to allow your employees to exercise their discretion on whether to respond after hours or wait until their next working hours to reply.
How Can Text Messages Be Used to Communicate with Employees Professionally?
The best way to ensure that you don’t cross into unprofessionalism is to keep things simple and clear. With texting, there is always the possibility that one or more recipients might misinterpret a message—either its contents or the tone of the message. To reduce the chance of misunderstandings, it’s best to only text employees when necessary (and when it won’t take them away from their work).
What Are Appropriate Work-Related Text Messages?
If you’re going to send a text message to your employees, it’s important to make sure that you have a compelling reason. Here are a few of the top ways text messages can be used, suitable for office-based as well as non-desk employees:
- Company Announcements | Send or schedule HR announcements, executive updates, and managerial information.
- Employee Alerts | Send notifications related to schedule changes, emergency situations, compliance requirements, and more.
- Text Off Line | Make it easy for employees to request time off, without requiring them to call in or navigate online systems.
What Is Professional Texting Etiquette?
Texting etiquette refers to a basic set of rules for what is—and isn’t—appropriate within a given situation. While texting etiquette can cover a wide range of best practices as well as things to avoid, it mainly comes down to two questions:
- Is this important or urgent? Especially for non-desk employees, consider whether the message you’re about to send is necessary to send right now. If it’s not, you can schedule a message to be sent out when employees are available. If you get into the habit of sending too many texts—of varying importance—it may lead employees to start tuning them out, feeling like their time isn’t being respected.
- Is there any chance this can be misunderstood or misinterpreted? The easiest way to maintain professionalism when texting employees is to keep your messages clear, concise, and actionable. Know that the #1 priority for employee texting isn’t necessarily to be creative or witty, it’s to deliver impactful information in a way that prevents misunderstandings. Don’t be overly casual or use emojis, as many people consider them unprofessional.
When it comes to professionalism, perception is reality. This means it doesn’t really matter what you meant to say (or how you meant to express it). If it could come across as unprofessional, you should rethink what you’re about to send.
Yourco: Employee Texting Done Right
When done right, texting employees can be an effective and professional way to communicate. To learn more about how Yourco’s platform makes it easy to reach non-desk employees with important updates, safety alerts, scheduled reminders and more, you can contact us with questions or watch our quick demo.