Technology is an amazing tool, especially when it comes to communication. It can make us faster, more accurate, and more efficient.

We are happy to replace phone calls with emails and emails with texts. In-person meetings have turned into conference calls, webinars, or online chats.

These changes can only be for the good of our businesses, right?

Not necessarily

Regardless of what business you’re in, the relationships you have with your employees and customers are critical to your success. But no matter how great your writing skills are, no text or email will ever connect with someone like you can— live and in person.

If you haven’t had a real-time conversation with a client, customer, or co-worker in a while, it’s time to ask yourself if your technology shortcuts may actually be keeping you from developing the kinds of relationships you need to keep moving your business forward.

Should you ditch your technology?

Of course not! But you do need to be honest with yourself about how you are using it.

Are you so focused on technology-driven efficiency that you’re missing out on opportunities to personally interact with your colleagues, staff, and clients?

Maybe you’re relying on technology to do the heavy lifting when tough issues need to be resolved. Yes, sending a well-crafted email to handle a delicate situation may be a good enough solution. But having a face-to-face conversation with someone when there are serious issues to discuss? Now that’s an opportunity!

So, how can you tell when an opportunity to forgo technology presents itself? The old-fashioned way: Listen to your gut.

If the thought of making that phone call or having that fact-to-face meeting gives you a sick feeling in your stomach, that’s a pretty clear sign that an email or text won’t do. And that you should really choose another option.

Putting the right words in a letter, e-mail or text may work perfectly fine, but there are times when you can do even better. Talk in person. Ask for a meeting. Be empathetic. Show that you care.

At the end of the day, your clients won’t remember all of those carefully crafted emails you sent, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel.

The beauty of down time

Have you ever had your Internet go down at work? At first, people get pretty flustered. Frustrated. Uncomfortable. Everyone looks around awkwardly. “What in the world are we supposed to do now?”

But then something magical happens. They start to talk. Make jokes. Maybe go for coffee. Talk about the last episode of Stranger Things. Honestly, you couldn’t pay someone to come up with a better team building exercise. This is what relationships are made of.

Should you use the technology available to you at your job? Yes! By all means.

But you should also commit to connecting on a more personal level with at least one client and/or coworker at least once a week. Or once a day, even! You may be surprised at where it takes you. And all without a GPS signal.

 Is your benefits broker also a compliance consultant? How about a trusted business partner? Are you confident your policies and processes are doing what they need to ensure that your company—and your employees— are healthy and productive? At Combined, this is what we do for Los Angeles employers every single day. CONTACT US NOW