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  • 18 September 2014

Is the use of email now more popular than talking?

Email and internet use is becoming more and more popular, but is it finally taking over from the perhaps more personal communication method of phone or, indeed, face-to-face meetings? Are we moving into a new world of communication?

Research carried out by the Radicati Group, a technology research firm, revealed that email is the predominant form of communication in the business today. But is that a positive development?

Good for business?

While the use of email and internet has increased employees' access to information, this unlimited access has also introduced a greater potential for staff to abuse the facilities. For example, an employee using social media during work time is likely to mean a loss of productivity, which in turn is of course a cost to business.

But what other aspects of internet use can be cost-saving?

More savings can be made through one costly business need, which is training, and the options of classroom learning against distance / elearning. Research shows distance learning is fast becoming the first choice for students and clients and figures show that the growth in elearning worldwide is expected to increase by £19bn by 2015.

There are clear benefits of distance learning, including flexibility - students can study at their own pace and fit it around their home life. For businesses, the cut in costs incurred with employees having to travel to and from the classroom and the reduction in time spent in the office is a huge plus. However, it seems the key disadvantage of distance learning is the loss of the 'personal touch' gained from having contact with experienced tutors, and the lack of communication with other students with whom they can share knowledge. As a result, a good option when this becomes an issue is the combination of elearning and classroom learning. Combining the speed and flexibility of elearning with the quality tutor contact time offered in classroom lessons can be the perfect combination.

The personal touch

The lack of the 'personal touch' in business communication is a significant issue. The use of emails rather than the telephone, for example, means employees can lose out on the relationship building that can be achieved over the phone. These relationships with contacts or clients can be extremely important for businesses.

Emails just transmit words, which of course can be easily misunderstood; however, phones transmit words and tone, allowing the recipient to get a much more thorough understanding of the message. Do workers still have face-to-face meetings with clients and business contacts, despite whether the main method of communication is by email or internet? This is a very important aspect of relationship building, but face-to-face meetings do incur costs such as employee time away from the office and travelling costs. With this in mind, we can recognise one of the major benefits of email, which is that contact can be made 24 hours a day, and both sender and recipient can be anywhere! Plus, as mentioned before, this can be both easier and cheaper than phoning or meeting in person.

It is clear there are benefits to using both methods of communication, and it is important that one method does not completely take over from the other. When used in unison, your business can benefit greatly.