Are employees in your company spontaneously adopting their own collaboration software? We’ve noticed this in several client companies lately. IT may or not support these platforms, but employees are using them daily in their work to collaborate on projects, manage workflow processes and communicate with team members or departments.
Slack is the tool we’re seeing the most. A department head in one organization we work with advised his team to forget about emailing him. “If you need me, you can get me on Slack.” If that’s where your boss is working, it’s where you’re likely to show up as well.
Other platforms that employees are incorporating in this DIY approach include Basecamp, Sococo and Pie. In most cases, these communication solutions seem to be adopted when the existing intranet isn’t conducive to getting the work done. Or when internal email is so overwhelming people can’t get through their inbox.
This trend mirrors something my architect father used to say about sidewalks for office buildings. I think he may have been quoting Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe or some other great, but I remember him saying it was a good practice, when constructing an office building, to delay the paving of any sidewalks. Rather, one should wait to see where people walk – between the parking lot and the entrance, from building to building, wherever. After enough of them have walked the same route to wear footpaths in the dirt, then one can lay cement with confidence that the routes will be used.
In internal communications, companies often struggle to get employees to use the channels they provide. Perhaps instead we should all sit back and wait to see where the people go.
Interested in helping your employees with communication tools that support the way they work? Tribe can help.