Do You Email, Chat or Call? How You Can Be a Less Intrusive and More Productive Co-Worker

Never before have you had such a wide range of communication tools at your workplace. You probably often ask yourself one of the following questions: Should I send my colleague an email? Or is it better to call? Should we meet in person for the next team meeting? Or is a web conference perhaps more efficient?

It is this proverbial agony of choice that the new possibilities of digital communication bring us. Thanks to cloud-based communication solutions, we can theoretically communicate at our workplace at any time and anywhere in the world. Choosing the appropriate means of communication is of paramount importance. After all, each interaction has a purpose.

In this blog post, we will explain which means of communication are suitable for which purposes and in which situations there is a crystal-clear favourite.

1. Email: Digital Classic with Weaknesses

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Online users around the world send an impressive 280 billion emails every day. This makes email communication one of the most popular forms of digital information exchange. However, from your own experience, you surely know that while many organisations communicate copiously via email, on average, 144 out of 200 messages are of no relevance to the recipient.

When Should You Rely on Email?

Email is the perfect way to share information, especially when you as the sender don’t need an immediate response to your message. If you want to share general information on a particular topic with a larger group, then the good old email is a safe choice. You don’t need to follow the recipient’s diaries and, at the same time, you give each of them enough time to process the information at their own pace.

What Are Emails Not Suitable For?

Communication by email is regarded as a prime example of digital one-way street communication where the human factor is missing. Emails are not suitable for the maintenance of your personal relationships and lead to declining productivity with excessive use. The French IT service company Atos Origin was one of the first companies to completely ban emails from their everyday office life for this reason.

2. Chat: Quick and Informal All-Rounder

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Unlike email communication, chat messages are clearly the champions at efficiency. How often do you sit in front of an email and work on your formulation for minutes before you click ‘Send’? In contrast, chat thrives on fast interaction. Time-consuming formalities are less important as long as the conversational tone is a friendly one. This makes chat quick and efficient.

When Should You Rely on Chat?

Chat and instant messaging are ideal for quick question and answer dialogues on very specific questions. You need prompt feedback on one of your tasks, but can’t call your colleague because they are in a conference? This is where chat is the best means of communication. Emoticons and memes give each message a personal touch and are thus better suited to relaxed human interaction rather than rigid email messages.

What Is A Chat Not Suitable For?

Group chats and dialogues on complex topics can quickly get out of hand. Many organisations are looking at how to bring discipline and order to their chat communication. Apps like Slack can quickly lead to productivity losses if employees do not know when to stop the chat and move on to a personal conversation.

Excellent communication and increased togetherness are more important than ever. At the same time, many employees are overwhelmed by the many new possibilities that digital communication affords. In this blog post, we look at an alternative approach to digital transformation where humans take centre stage.

3. Phone Calls: Personal and Highly Efficient

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Telephone conversations excel precisely where written communication via chat and email reaches its limits. Hardly any other form of communication is as effective as personal dialogue. It’s no wonder that the popularity of voice communication is increasing rapidly: WhatsApp registers more than 100 million voice calls every day and intelligent everyday helpers such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant all work by means of your voice.

When Should You Rely on Phone Calls?

Whether you want to discuss a complex issue with one of your colleagues or settle a conflict: Communication by telephone is the best means besides a face-to-face conversation. In particular, colleagues who work from home or travel frequently should talk to their co-workers several times a day to ensure they do not lose personal contact and to cultivate a common basis of trust. Therefore, it seems recommendable to think about internet telephony and find a suitable telephone provider, in order to make the best out of your phone calls. 

What Are Phone Calls Not Suitable For?

Younger colleagues belonging to Generations Y and Z are less inclined to call someone due to their conditioning through instant messaging and social media. However, you should not avoid phone calls if the topic requires it. Announce your call with a short chat message. If more than two people are participating in a call, then setting up a telephone conference will require a little organisation in advance – a calendar invitation by email is a safe choice for this.

4. Video: Effective, But Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

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Video communication is a great way to build personal relationships with your colleagues. Unlike email, chat and telephone, video impresses through visual communication – a crucial aspect of human communication. It minimizes the risk of misunderstandings because, in addition to the soundtrack, the facial expression of your counterpart is also visible.

When Should You Rely on Video?

Comparable to telephone calls, the strength of video communication also lies in the personal dialogue. Video is always the first choice when a personal meeting is necessary but not possible. Use this communication tool to communicate with colleagues in other locations or working from home about complex topics. Face-to-face communication fosters commitment and strengthens the relationship.

What Is Video Not Suitable For?

Depending on their individual character, some people tend to be reserved in their first video conversation with a new colleague. Shy colleagues feel overwhelmed in video communication, as they have not got to know the person they are conferencing with. To help break the ice, the telephone as a proven means of communication is ideal for the first conversation.

NFON is a specialist in cloud telephony systems. We would be happy to advise you on your entry into the next generation of communications – free of charge and without obligation. Discover the freedom of communication and register for your personal consultation appointment!