Telephone more important than emails in offices

Communication hinges on corporate culture - not employee's age, Hamburg survey finds

Over 81 per cent of professionals use the telephone at work while 77 per cent send emails even as the digital era gains pace, a survey by Statista for nextMedia.Hamburg published in Unified digital magazine “Knowledge and Collaboration” has found. Only every fifth person (21 per cent) used WhatsApp or Facebook at work.

Swift exchange of know-how

However, outdated organisational structures need to be overcome to improve the exchange of information, experts said. Both the self-employed and established companies can benefit from exchanging know-how and can create the right framework with tried and tested communications tools.

Skype and Slack

Special business tools such as Skype and Slack are being used to boost co-operation and exchange knowledge. Around 16 per cent of all those surveyed use them for communicating at work and this figure came to 21 per cent among 30 to 39 year-olds. This indicates increasing digitalisation and the exchange of information in German companies.

Young staff use telephone more often than WhatsApp

But professionals are not necessarily the main drivers of digitalisation – 17 per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds had above average use of business tools. Around 29 per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds preferred WhatsApp for business communication compared to 16 per cent of 40 to 49 year-olds. However, personal conversations are still the most popular means of communication among young professionals and 81 per cent opt for the telephone while 75 per cent chose emails. Thus the extent of digital communication appears to hinge on corporate culture rather than an employee’s age.

Affinity to technology

Some 78 per cent of interviewees preferred using the telephone for contacting customers or service providers compared to 71 per cent who opted for emails. Hardly any other only means of communication are used and only every tenth interviewee opted for privately used platforms while a mere 8 per cent chose business tools. Around 17 per cent of the professionals interviewed said work with the IT department is very good while 51 per cent said it was good. Only 12 per cent said it was bad or very bad.

Learning from start-ups

Around 38 per cent of those surveyed associated strong communication with young, start-ups. Around 64 per cent of interviewees said start-ups were innovative while 52 per cent said they were modern. For 26 per cent of interviewees, innovation is one of the characteristics that established companies should adopt while 25 per cent said the communicativeness of start-ups should also be adopted. Some 31 per cent of those interviewed said larger companies should absorb smaller start-ups.

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