Nearly 7 in 10 workers prefer face-to-face interactions with colleagues: Survey

Three-quarters are bothered by co-workers who answer phone call, email during meetings
||Last Updated: 04/05/2012

Canadian workers want more face-time with their colleagues, found a survey by Randstad.

Nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) Canadian employees said they prefer face-to-face contact over other means of communications, such as telephone or email. More than four in 10 Canadian employees (42 per cent) said they create moments during their day when they ignore phone and email all together, found the Global Workmonitor which polled at least 400 people in each of the 29 countries included in the survey.

"Even with easier and quicker access to information that new technologies like smartphones, social media, videoconferencing and others provide, people still value face to face interactions," said Stacy Parker, executive vice-president of marketing at Randstad Canada.

Nearly three-quarters of Canada's employees (73 per cent) report that they are bothered by people who answer their phone or respond to email during business meetings. With that said, nearly one in six (14 per cent) of respondents said they are guilty of these acts themselves.

“It can feel like a slight when you are meeting with someone, just to have them pull out their phone and read a text message while you're in conversation,” said Parker.

Around the globe, 75 per cent of employees feel it is not appropriate to answer a call or respond to email during a business meeting — though 15 to 20 per cent of the respondents admit to still doing this, found the survey.

The level of acceptance of this practice varies by country. In India and China, 75 per cent think it is wrong to answer a call or email but nearly one-half of the employees do it anyway.

The overall global results for the preference of face-to-face communication are also in line with Canada, as 70 per cent of all employees said they prefer personal contact over phone or email.

"New technologies have definitely changed the way we conduct business, and play a key role in knowledge-sharing,” said Parker. “However, companies have to learn to find a good balance between virtual and face-to-face communication in order to create a workplace that is efficient, productive, inspiring and team-oriented.''

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