Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms
The role of communication in workplaces, more so, the modern ones cannot be overemphasized. Whether it is discussions within a team, requests by employees, ability of sending orders down the chain of command or retrieving information pertaining to an employer, communication is crucial. As globalization reshapes the world and technology aligns social and workplace settings, digital communications is becoming more than necessary.
The essence of digital communication in the modern workplaces
The need to meet/Interact without physical contacts
Taking a cue from the current pandemic of Covid-19, where many companies have been forced to make their employees work from home, it is possible to see why technologies like Zoom, Google charts, etc are becoming a necessity. For instance, a research by Lewis et al. (2020) highlights the role of Zoom applications which allows virtual meetings without the need to get into physical contact with each other. According to the authors, through Zoom, instructors, learners and employees are able to learn from each other as well as have workplace meetings even when there are restrictions on physical gatherings and contacts. Similarly, Ho, Chee & Ho (2020) attests that technologies such as Zoom have made it possible for clinicians and medical personnel to offer psychotherapy to victims of Covid-19 through online means. Accordingly, they have been able to offer the much needed assistance without risking the lives of either party. Practically, was it not for technological developments such as Google, Wattsup groups, Zoom etc, working from home and all those important meetings and conferences for workplace operations would be a nightmare.
Zoom & Learning
With many educational institutions forced to close down due to Covid-19, technology is offering the much needed support to facilitate learning amidst halting of classroom education. According to Carlson (2020), the pandemic means that classroom interactions are no longer possible in many countries. In this respect, those with Zoom software installed on their devices are still able to learn virtually. Apart from listing members present and facilitating open conversation sessions, the platform enables mutation of disruptive background noise, the exchange of information, and the collection of customary contexts that can make education as interesting as possible. The instructor can lecture and the students are provided with the opportunity to always be involved in studying concurrently. However, Gunawan et al (2020) argues that not all learners and educators have access to technology and hence this could be an impediment.
Experiences in Zoom Meetings
With the latest technological advancements, online meetings such as those in Zoom are as captivating as ever. According to Bonifatiet al (2020) offer face to face communication just like in real life, only that you are not able to have physical contact. In addition, it allows direct engagement between the members with the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers on the spot. What is more, Zoom also allows practical, hands on learning and this has a prospect of making it a new normal in matters education.
There is no doubt that digital communication is the solution in current workplaces and other settings. This is reinforced by the current situation precipitated by covid-19 developments. Since the pandemic has forced many companies to make their employees work from home while classroom education has come to a halt in many countries, technologies such as Zoom have come to the rescue of workplaces and contexts that require meetings and collaborations for a successful operation.
Bonifati, A., Guerrini, G., Lutz, C., Martens, W., Mazilu, L., Paton, N., ... & Zhou, Y. (2020).
Holding a Conference Online and Live due to COVID-19. arXiv preprint arXiv:2004.07668.
Carlson, E. R. (2020). COVID-19 and educational engagement. Journal of Oral and
Gunawan, G., Suranti, N. M. Y., &Fathoroni, F. (2020). Variations of Models and Learning
Platforms for Prospective Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Period. Indonesian Journal of Teacher Education, 1(2), 61-70.
Ho, C. S., Chee, C. Y., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Mental health strategies to combat the psychological
impact of COVID-19 beyond paranoia and panic. Ann Acad Med Singapore, 49(1), 1-3.
Lewis, E. E., Taylor, L. J., Hermsen, J. L., McCarthy, D. P., & Fiedler, A. G. (2020).
Cardiothoracic Education in the Time of COVID-19: How I Teach It. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.