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How texting is taking over our working lives

SMS messages have been a part of our personal lives pretty much since mobile phones first became available. But what impact does texting have on our working lives?

Cloud communications provider RingCentral (opens in new tab) has released the results of a survey looking at how SMS is being used in the workplace.

Of the 500+ people surveyed 78 per cent have between one and four messaging apps on their phone. Over half use two or three apps on a daily basis so it’s perhaps not surprising that 43 per cent have sometimes felt a communication overload with too many apps to check for messages.

SMS is widely favoured over other apps like Facebook Messenger with 72 per cent preferring to text rather than message. 74 per cent find texting easier while 56 per cent find it faster.

47 per cent of all respondents receive between one and 20 texts per day while 31 per cent receive 21-40 texts, however, for business users this figure rises to 37 per cent. Ten per cent of all users and 12 per cent of business users receive 60 or more text messages per day.

Business users seem to send fewer texts though, over half of all users (52 per cent) send 1-20 texts a day (only 47 per cent for business users). 47 per cent of all users send 21-60+ texts a day but only 42 per cent of business users send this number.

Texts are mostly used for quick responses (71 per cent), though 29 per cent use them to conduct full conversations. 38 per cent are willing to put themselves at risk by texting while driving. Emojis are creeping into business communications too, with 57 per cent admitting to sometimes using them.

The overall picture then is that texting has made it into the workplace and workers feel they need to stick to the same protocol and norms they would in person conversations - making quick responses, using emoji and so on. This is leading to communication overload and a general lack of protocol surrounding texting at work.

You can see a summary of the findings in infographic form below.

RingCentral Texting Infographic

Image Credit: Bloomua (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.