The reality of office communication is that some people may find picking up the phone and speaking to another human being rather daunting, or may be just unsure about the right communication method and etiquette to use for different colleagues in the office.
Some of the main communication methods used in a typical office can be broken down below:
This is a method of communication that is heavily used in most offices. It allows you to take your time to elaborate on what you want to say- ideal for when you need to present other sources of information to explain your point, such as hyperlinking to relevant webpages or attaching documents to the email.
It gives you the ability to communicate to masses of people is super handy to being able to play office politics by using the Bcc function to include other people to your message that the original recipient are oblivious to. However, waiting for a reply can be problematic as you may not receive a reply in a timely manner or not at all.
Sometimes trying to explain a complicated proposal over email is just overly laborious. Numerous emails back and forth to try and clear up confusion can be more complicated than it needs to be.
Picking up the phone and explaining it can get straight to the point can be more efficient in getting what you want.
3) Instant message
There is something casual about choosing this communication method that is quick and responsive but allows you to still be able to hide behind the safety of your keyboard.
Let your quick wit shine and build that rapport if you find that you can’t quite click with people on a phone call or talking face-to-face.
4) Face to face
This is communication at its most intimate and purest. Often best used when breaking sensitive information to a work colleague.
Building relationships with colleagues can be done with other forms of communication but nothing beats building that rapport in person and chatting to them face to face. Having said that, discussions that have a lot at stake are best done in person.
5) Handwritten note
There is something meaningful about a handwritten post-it note that says that you care. It’s almost like receiving a handwritten letter in the post – a rare occurrence nowadays.
It adds a human touch to words of paper – someone took the time to put pen to paper to communicate with me can be a more profound method of communication than people can give it credit for.
The humorous flowchart below can come in handy to help office workers decide what method of communication they should use based on the scenario they may come across at work. Check it out below:
Infographic Source: Telephone Systems Guide
Originally published Nov 02, 2015, updated Oct 29, 2020