With employees seeing increasing levels of interconnectivity through work email and messaging, it's unsurprising that many turn to their keyboards to ask and answer questions rather than picking up the phone.
While emails and text messages provide a convenient, on-the-go solution for passing on information and general communication, this channel may also be holding up your business's productivity by slowing down the decision making process.
Could picking up the phone be a simpler answer? We look at whether encouraging more use of web conferencing and teleconferencing tools could help streamline some of our daily communication and increase productivity.
Passive action through email
When we send an email with a request, we put the ball in the someone else's court, so to speak. By shifting responsibility to a second party to address an issue, we have simultaneously "dealt" with it, and made sure that in awaiting a reply, it's no longer in our hands.
Many of us find our email inboxes overflowing by mid-morning, so the process of sifting through them can be time-consuming and could slow down task management in general.
In addition, because emails are devoid of the tone and nuance present in spoken communication, we may spend longer trying to craft a friendly, or polite-sounding email to avoid the risk of coming across as too demanding or harsh.
As technology advances, it is often expected that the speed at which it operates should increase.
However, despite the "instant" nature of self-updating email, online chat and messaging services, for those short of time the spoken word may still be the best way to exchange information. Queries that may take a whole string of emails to puzzle through can more likely than not be solved in a minute or two over the phone.
In terms of collaboration, holding a teleconference is an efficient way to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that your business can get on with what it does best.
Millennials more likely to email
The recent "Bosses say 'pick up the phone'" piece published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), reignited the discussion over the place of the telephone in the modern day workplace.
One of the arguments entailed Millennial employees holding certain biases as to how they would prefer to be contacted, having grown up with a wide array of digital communication including texting and instant messaging.
According to the WSJ, an apparent tendency to eschew the phone could potentially impact businesses' creativity and productivity.
Docstoc's Chief Executive, Jason Nazar told the WSJ that he believed his company had missed out on hiring opportunities due to his Millennial age employees using email rather than calling to contact applicants.
"If you can do something more quickly and more efficiently by using older technology, then do it," said Mr Nazar.