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Group Chat Apps. Can They Benefit Employee Productivity?

As addicted as people are to their smartphones and social media these days, it seems counter-intuitive to give employees another app that lets them message people. Most managers would assume that something like that would be used for gossip and wasting time. The truth is precisely the opposite.

Group chat apps can significantly increase the efficiency of office communications and improve productivity overall. There are several messaging platforms to choose from with different features which makes finding the right fit for any office environment easy.

What Are Group Messaging Apps?


Group messaging apps are shared spaces where messaging is instant. Rather than a one to one conversation, like Skype, they allow users to message a group of people collectively instantly. Anyone can jump into the conversation at any time – like a chat room, from the early days of the internet, but private and secure.

Each group chat app contains a different set of features that will appeal to some businesses more than others. Group messenger apps are more focused than Facebook group chats or other similar message platforms. Without the distractions from family, friends, and other non-work-related content, these apps stay more work oriented. Some of those commonly used in the workplace are Slack, Discord, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. Discord statistics is showing that it is getting popularity in a specific group of people.

Go for Instant Messaging for Productivity Gains

According to 2017 research from BT, over 60% of companies report that instant messaging has dramatically increased productivity in the workplace.

Businesses still relying on email for intraoffice communications are falling behind the curve. Email’s biggest flaw is that it isn’t a form of instant communication the way messaging apps are. An email could take anywhere from a few minutes to hours to bounce between servers and reach its target. Also, it can be hard to collaborate with multiple users simultaneously.

The BT survey also notes that instant messaging allows businesses to collaborate better across international borders, and lets workers approach management, including CEOs and Senior Directors, easier. Messaging apps also make it easier for employees to give actionable feedback/insight into how a business or project is running, that could otherwise be missed.

Cross-Platform Availability to Communicate Without Boundaries


What about different hardware and devices all being used in the workplace? Many businesses run on a mix of various computers, tablets, and smartphones, not to mention different operating systems. A graphic designer might be using a Mac, many system admins stick to Linux whenever possible, and Windows is still the mainstay for the average worker. Add to this the employee’s own smartphone they also use for work. They will inevitably be split along Android and Apple lines. The beauty of most group chat apps is they are available on any platform. They are designed to be open to anyone, anywhere, working on any device.

Even if a Linux version of an app isn’t available, the overwhelming majority offer a browser-based version of the app, which means anyone can access it – no matter what operating system or device configuration they have.

Extending Flexible Working Conditions for Employees

“73% of workers say a flexible schedule is in their top two reasons to stay with a company, and flexible hours were the number one thing workers cited when asked what they expect from their next employer (58%)”Capital One 218 Work Environment Survey.

Flexible work hours make employees happier and more productive, and group messaging apps can make this flexibility easier to incorporate into an office’s work culture.

Employees who need to work from home for a stint, or are otherwise unable to be there during regular work hours can still be in the loop via a group chat employee app on their own (or company-provided) smartphone, tablet, or laptop. With the right access controls for BYOD in the workplace, employees can communicate with ease from anywhere in the world.

How Group Chat Apps Aren’t Just for Chatter

group chatting

There is more than group chat apps offer than employees being able to talk to each other at any given time.  Group messaging app developers have carefully incorporated features that businesses are seeking in these platforms.

Features may include:

  • Different groups across one workspace
  • Different topic streams, for example, Development, Sales, General, and Admin
  • Direct (one-on-one) messaging
  • Videoconferencing
  • File-sharing
  • Plugins for workflow automation, or the ability to build your own, such as chatbots, through utilizing a chat API

Automation like always available chatbots is an exciting feature for businesses if utilized well. For instance, if a team leader or manager needs to schedule a meeting for their group, he or she can potentially tell their bot “Team meeting Wednesday at 1 pm,” and it will go ahead and place the meeting in everyone’s calendars.

Choosing the Right App for the Workplace

What group messaging app is best for an office depends on what it offers, such as…

  • Features
  • Cost
  • Usability
  • Ongoing product support

It should also be noted that most workplaces will need multiple communication streams to ensure messages are always received.

Or you will need to set multiple users in your business messager, for example, to configure WhatsApp Business Multiple Users

When choosing your main group chat app for business growth, think about how it can integrate with other streams currently in use, such as email and SMS.

Microsoft and Google’s group chat offerings are obviously some of the most well-supported and managed in the space – however, if Office 365 or G Suite isn’t already in use, then they may not be the best choice, financially speaking. Alternatives such as Slack or Discord are far easier on budgets for small enterprises and startups. To be specific Discord has been used by many people over the years and it has a huge popularity. Some users keep looking for options to buy Discord members to grow instantly.

A little research into something like the 12 Best Team Chat Apps for Your Company is a great way to find the best one for business.

Are Group Messaging Apps Critical?

The answer is yes, and they will be for the foreseeable future. Employees already use some form of group chat in their personal lives, making it something they expect to see in their professional lives. Email is a time sink. Not only can rolling out a group chat app increase productivity in the workplace, but it also provides a documented, singular point of reference for all-work chatter that may otherwise not be captured. This can be great for users who need to double check any details that have been previously discussed.

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