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Employee satisfaction with workplace internal comms falls as company size increases

Two-thirds of office workers think communication in their offices could be improved via the tools they use.

Satisfaction in internal comms falls as company size increases: less than half (45%) of office workers in micro businesses said their communications are very effective at enabling efficient working.


This slides to 31% for small businesses and16% for mid-sized companies. But micro-enterprises buck this trend, with just over a quarter (26%) of their workers saying their tools are very effective.

The research, commissioned by Cisco, combined quantitative research from Opinion Matters, which polled more than 1,000 UK office workers, and a study from Mindlab International. The study measured the brain activity of 24 workers while they conducted office-based tasks using four communication tools: telephone conferencing, instant messaging, video conferencing and web conferencing.

In the majority of situations, the Mindlab International research found visual communication tools to be the most effective in a business environment, measured by accuracy, efficiency and user experience.


Telephone conferencing and instant messaging followed visual communication but the research highlighted that each technology’s performance varied depending on the type of task.  

Duncan Smith, managing director at Mindlab International, said: "Far from this being a case of a ‘poor workman blames his tools’, our research found that each communication tool was effective for certain business-related tasks, but that these tools must be deployed in the right situation for maximum success."

Alongside communication not being at its best in UK businesses, the Opinion Matters survey also found that e-mail was the favoured way of passing off work to others: 40% of workers said that in the previous week a co-worker had used e-mail to delegate work that those co-workers should have done themselves.

James Campanini, managing director for Cisco WebEx solutions in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "Email has a very valuable place in business and helps teams work well together; however, it does need to be supplemented with other methods of communication, which can sometimes be overlooked.

"Tools that are video-enabled, such as web and video conferencing, help to build trust in the workplace, as communications are more interactive, engaging and personal. By being able to take in body language, eye contact and multi-way conversations, the business environment is automatically more collaborative, helping to speed up decision-making. In addition, people should consider that one of the most powerful ways of communicating is by using a combination of tools."