Young workers are giving communication technology a thumbs down.

Drop the phone! How you should really be communicating


Communicating with the younger workers in your team? It’s time to step away from the computer and put down the phone.

Those under the age of 32 have long been considered the technology generation. However, using these devices to stay in touch in the workplace could actually be doing more harm than good.

A recent study from Millennial Branding, a Generation Y research organisation, revealed that those currently aged 16 to 32 would much prefer a manager willing to put their face-to-face communications skills into practice.

More than half (51 per cent) of Generation Z employees (aged 16-20) say they prefer in-person communication with their managers. Millennials feel the same, with 52 per cent of those aged 21 to 32 agreeing that face-to-face chats are more beneficial than emailing or instant messaging.

In fact, the tech-savvy generations are surprisingly not a fan of communication technology at all! Only 13 percent of Gen Z and 14 per cent of Gen Y believe that technology improves workplace relationships.

More than one-third of the younger workers (37 per cent) rank instant messaging as the biggest distraction at work. Of the Millennials, 31 per cent believe email is the worst offender.

Generation Y may have hit the nail on the head when considering the cons of email communication. A 2012 report from consulting firm McKinsey found that reading and answering emails represents more than quarter (28 per cent) of the average person’s workday.

This is a staggering amount of time dedicated to email-based back-and-forth communication, much of which could be easily handled in a short conversation.

In fact, a study carried out by TNS Research and commissioned by Hewlett Packard found that answering emails while also juggling other work can lower a person’s IQ by up to 10 points.

With this in mind, it is clear that email and instant messaging should only be used sparingly. Instead, consider getting up from your desk and engaging with your team in person.

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