3 Ways Technology Influences Employee Peer Relationships

how employees and their peers communicate

A positive company culture is one of the most essential factors in maintaining a productive and efficient workforce. It’s more important than ever before that companies work to improve employee engagement.

A concept that is often overlooked is the value of fostering positive employee-peer relationships. Your workers have to be around each other every day for 40 hours a week— that’s more time than they spend at home with their families. If your employees aren’t comfortable with the people they work with, then they’re going to have a difficult time being productive and may even look for another job, leaving you understaffed and with an unfruitful workforce

This is where technology comes in. The advancement of digital technology has made it easier for employees to engage with and develop deeper relationships with their peers.

Below are just some of the ways that technology can positively impact your employee-peer relationships, as well as tips on how to get the most that technology has to offer.

Boosts Accessibility

No longer are employees constricted to communicating with their team face-to-face (or even in the same building, state or country). With more and more companies offering flexible schedules and remote work opportunities for their employees, it’s critical that workers remain accessible even while outside the office.

It’s also important to make sure these workers don’t feel left out of the company culture. Technology bridges the gaps caused by time and distance, making it easier for all employees to feel included.

If your company has remote employees or offers flexible hours, then it would be beneficial to look into Voice over IP software,  better known as VoIP. The ability to send and receive calls, texts and documents from any device connected to the Internet lets your employees stay connected and communicate with each other whenever or wherever they need to.

By keeping an open line of communication for everyone, all employees are kept in the loop even if they’re not in the office, helping them remain engaged in the company culture.

Improves Collaborations

Technology makes group work easier and less tedious than ever before. In the past, it was somewhat difficult to keep everyone on the same page. Paper trails were harder to keep up with and it was difficult to help everyone stay aligned on how the team planned on reaching their goals.

Now that we’re in the digital age, information, instructions and guidelines are always readily available.

This is where tools like project management software come in handy. These technologies allow employees to plan, organize, and collaborate with ease. When teams are able to work together efficiently, it reduces the chances of disagreements, accountability issues and overall negative sentiment.

Employees will enjoy working with each other when they work well together. These positive feelings will bleed over into their personal relationships with each other, naturally fostering healthy peer relationships.

Mirrors Society

Our society is slowly but surely becoming dependent on digital technology for basic communication. That means that traditional forms of communication, such as face-to-face conversations and in-person meetings, are preferred less than the fastness and convenience of texting and email.

While those traditional forms definitely have their place in the office, giving your employees the ability to communicate with each other in ways that come naturally from them makes it easier for them to form connections.

Companies are quickly learning the benefits of adapting their cell phone policy to be more lenient than in the past. Not only are your employees likely using their personal social media to aid their productivity throughout the day, but it also helps strengthen employee-peer relationships when they’re not in the office.

If you’re wary about giving your employees free rein to use public social media, you could look into using an internal Enterprise Social Network,  or ESN. ESNs give your employees the familiarity of social media while confining the community to those associated with the company.

The more that your employees interact with each other in the way that they do with their loved ones at home, the more likely it is that they will become friends. These friendships will inspire loyalty and motivation in your workers.

Improving employee peer relationships can be as simple as giving workers access to appropriate technology. When you focus on giving your workers a positive work experience, you’ll be repaid with a productive workforce.

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