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Your How To Source: Issues of Value, Ethics, Human Needs and Deeds       Edited by Heinz Dinter, PhD

Why call when you can send an email? (2006-10-03)

If it seems like we never talk anymore at work, it’s because we probably don’t. At least for work purposes, according to a query of business executives who say their communications is almost strictly confined to e-mail.

Where have you gone, Ma Bell? The telephone is a distant third when it comes to how we communicate at work, with only 13 percent citing it as the method used most often. Just five years ago, the phone was used the most by 48 percent of executives. Email was the prime means for only 27 percent back then.

But email has now taken over the world, or at least office communications. Nearly three-fourths of the executives, 71 percent, said it was the current most-favored form of communication. In-person talks were cited by 14 percent, followed by the phone.

The results are from a poll released by OfficeTeam, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based temporary staffing firm for administrative professionals.

However, the company has a caveat for our Internet-ruled communications: The message should always match the medium.

With the phone, people can “share ideas and feedback with the benefit of vocal inflections, which reduces the potential for confusion or miscommunication,” Office Team’s executive director Diane Domeyer said.



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