'WE NEVER TALK ANYMORE'

Survey Reveals Few Executives Use Telephone or Meet In Person at Work

MENLO PARK, CA -- Executives today may be just as likely to make introductions as small talk around the office water cooler. That’s because they are spending less and less time conversing with colleagues by phone and in person, a new survey shows. Only 13 percent of managers polled use the telephone as their primary means of communication, down from 48 percent five years ago; just 14 percent rely on face-to-face meetings, compared with 24 percent five years ago. Instead, e-mail has become the most common form of dialogue at work, according to 71 percent of respondents.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “Which method of communication do you use most often at work?” and “Which method of communication did you use most often at work five years ago?” Their responses: 

    Now   Five Years Ago
Email....................................................................  

71%

 

27%        

In-person/face-to-face communication..........  

14%

 

24%        

Telephone............................................................  

13%

 

48%        

Don't know............................................................  

2%

 

1%        

   

100%

 

100%        

“E-mail offers the advantages of speed and efficiency,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “But the message should match the medium. Phone conversations allow individuals to share ideas and feedback with the benefit of vocal inflections, which reduces the potential for confusion or miscommunication. Meeting in person adds yet another dimension as participants can respond to facial expressions and body language.”

OfficeTeam offers the following tips for determining the right medium for various types of business communication: 

E-Mail

Telephone

In-Person Meeting

For one-way communication

To explain a subject in greater detail or debate a topic

To relay sensitive or confidential information

For quick, back-and-forth discussion that does not require lengthy explanations

To consult with or come to a decision among a group of dispersed workers

To explain complicated or controversial issues that involve a discussion or debate

To have a written record of decisions and avoid future confusion

To allow colleagues to share ideas and feedback with the benefit of vocal inflections

To reduce the potential for miscommunication on important issues

To forward information to a large or dispersed group of colleagues

To make a group announcement and provide a forum to ask questions about the views

To share ideas with the benefit of vocal inflections, facial expressions and body language

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.


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