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With work from home increasing to 58% of the workforce (92 million workers), digital communication has become a focal point of workplace communication and productivity. Following an analysis, Forbes Advisor found that Colorado and Maryland had the highest number of remote workers. The survey also found that 28% of all respondents report using a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone system. While half of the respondents we surveyed worked in a hybrid environment, 27% worked remotely and 20% on-site.
- Workers are spending an average of 20 hours a week using digital communication tools.
- Forty-five percent of workers feel more connected to their team as a result of using digital communication.
- Digital communication makes 58% of workers feel like they need to be available more often.
- Sixty percent of workers feel increased burnout as a result of communicating digitally.
- Nearly half of workers report their productivity being affected by ineffective communication.
- Forty-two percent of workers experience stress trying to form responses that convey the right tone of voice.
Communication tools used in the workplace in 2023
The days of the phone call may not be behind us, despite how many other communication platforms there are today. Workers are finding that the more effective communication platforms range in the type of communication they provide, whether that be instant messaging, video calls or VoIP systems. Google Meet and Zoom ranked highest for video calls, being used by 40% and 46% of respondents, respectively.
Remote and hybrid workers are using VoIP systems to communicate more often than in-office workers. VoIP systems were used by over a quarter of total respondents, with 37% of remote workers using them, 23% of on-site workers and 24% of hybrid workers.
The most effective communication tools for in-office, hybrid and remote workers
The most effective communication tool varied between on-site, remote and hybrid workers. For on-site workers, the mobile phone was the most effective method of communication for 38% of respondents, followed by landline (22%) and Zoom (21%). For people working remotely, Zoom was the most effective method for 22% of respondents, as well as Google Chat (also 22%). Hybrid workers followed a similar trend: 31% ranked Zoom as the most effective and 23% ranked Google Meet as the most effective.
How Covid-19 continues to affect work communication
Most people turn to tools beyond the standard phone to communicate at work, with 14% of respondents using VoIP when they didn’t prior to the pandemic. Over 20% of them are remote workers. It may seem obvious that more people began using Zoom (24% of respondents), but mobile phones also saw a spike in use by 20% after March 1, 2020.
Over 40% of workers feel more connected to their team since Covid-19
While Covid-19 changed the way offices and teams communicate, it didn’t necessarily lead to workers feeling less connected across the board. A total of 45% of workers who took the survey actually felt more connected to their team after Covid-19 (43% of on-site, 52% remote and 46% hybrid workers).
Some workers did feel less connected (25%). Remote workers were the most likely to report feeling less connected (34%) while the numbers were lower for on-site workers (27%) and hybrid workers (20%). There were also those who experienced no change. Of these respondents, on-site workers were the most likely to report no change (28%).
The majority of workers use digital communication tools for up to 20 hours a week
Many workers spend all day in front of a screen. The highest percentage of respondents (16%) said they spend 21 to 25 hours per week on digital communication platforms. That’s around five hours per day on average.
Fifteen percent spent 16 to 20 hours, 14% spent 11 to 15 hours and 12% spent six to 10 hours. There was a sharp decrease when the numbers reached 31 to 35 hours: only 5% said they spent this much time on digital communication tools. Digital communication tools took up the use of more than a 40-hour workweek for 2% of respondents.
Digital communication tools are affecting work-life balance
With so many digital communication tools available, more workers are feeling pressure to stay connected to their coworkers outside of normal working hours. Nearly 25% of workers said that they always feel pressured to stay connected to their peers, while 35% said they often feel pressure. On the other end—those who felt free from pressure—the numbers were much smaller. Seven percent said they rarely felt pressure while 10% said they never do.
Digital communication increased burnout for 60% of workers
Whether working from home, on-site or both, digital communication has a high chance of increasing feelings of burnout. Our survey showed that 60% of respondents said that digital communication increased feelings of burnout. Nearly 70% of remote workers said they experienced burnout from digital communication. Hybrid and on-site workers were less likely to experience burnout as a result of digital communication: 56% and 49% respectively.
How ineffective communication affects the work environment
Only 11% of workers report that ineffective communication does not have any effect on them. For the rest of the respondents, poor communication greatly affected workers in many areas. Most notably, it impacted productivity for 49% of respondents. Nearly 50% of respondents reported that ineffective communication impacted job satisfaction while 42% said it affected stress levels.
Poor communication is affecting trust for 45% of workers
For over 40% of workers, poor communication reduces trust both in leadership and in their team. Remote workers were more affected, with 54% reporting poor communication impacts trust in leadership and 52% reporting it impacts trust in the team. For on-site workers, poor communication did not impact trust to the same extent, though it still had a big impact: 43% reported trust in leadership was impacted and 38% said trust in their team was affected.
Job satisfaction relies on effective communication for the majority of workers
Respondents reported that effective communication impacted several areas of work. Forty-two percent said it impacted cross-functional collaboration. Job satisfaction is another big area that is affected by communication: 48% said they were impacted. Nearly half of the respondents said their productivity was impacted.
Digital communication tools are increasing stress in the workplace
For 46% of respondents, seeing messages ignored for long periods of time led to stress in the workplace. The notification that their manager is typing a message caused stress for 45% of respondents. Many other aspects of digital communication led to stress as well: crafting digital responses with the right tone of voice (42%), deciphering the tone behind digital messages (38%), last-minute video calls from leadership (36%) and turning off your camera when on video calls (35%).
Most workers prefer email to other digital communication options
When it comes to preferred methods of communication, many workers prefer old-fashioned tools. Email is the most popular tool, with 18% of total respondents marking it as their preference (25% of remote workers and 10% of on-site workers). Video calls were the next popular choice (17%) followed by direct messages (16%). For on-site workers, in-person conversations were by far the most preferred method of communication, with 34% of respondents saying it’s their preference.
- Preferences were the same across gender, though varied considerably when it came to video calls: 22% of male respondents preferred video while 12% of females preferred video.
- Age played a role in preference of communication methods: 40% of respondents between 59 and 77 preferred in-person conversation while that was only true for 17% of people ages 18 to 26 and 16% of people ages 27 to 42.
How workers are using digital communication to connect
For many workers, digital communication is an essential part of their day, but they differ in the methods of communication they use. More than half (56%) of respondents use video for their communication and 55% use audio. Personalized greetings are less common (44%). Emojis and GIFs are still relatively common forms of communication: 42% and 34% respectively.
- Female respondents preferred personalized greetings more than male respondents: 47% compared with 40%.
- Male respondents preferred audio more than female respondents: 63% compared with 50%. Video followed a similar pattern: 61% (male) versus 53% (female).
- Respondents of ages 43 to 58 had the highest preference for GIFs: 42% compared with 31% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 26.
- Respondents between 18 and 26 years old were the most likely to prefer video (69%). Preference for video declined with age: 60% of respondents between the ages of 27 and 42, 50% of people between 43 and 58 years old and only 23% of people surveyed between the ages of 59 and 77.
How many people still work from home in each state?
Forbes Advisor found the total number of people working from home in each state in 2023. The survey found that the percentage of remote workers varied by state. Between 20% and 24.2% of people work from home in the 11 states with the largest work-from-home workforce.
- Washington has the highest percentage of people who work from home at 24.2% of the workforce working at home, followed by Maryland (24%) and Colorado (23.7%).
- Massachusetts was the next state with the highest percentage of people working from home (23.7%), followed by Oregon (22.7%), Virginia (22.3%) and New Jersey (22.1%).
- Mississippi has the smallest workforce of people who work from home. Of the 1.2 million workers, only 6.3% (76,556) of people work from home.
While much has changed in the world of digital communication since Covid-19, there have also been constants. Email and phone are still two of the most preferred methods of communication, despite the numerous options and tools available. VoIP systems are increasing in popularity as well, with 28% of all respondents using them. Workers are spending an average of 20 hours per week on digital communication platforms—that’s half the 40-hour workweek.
Looking ahead, it will be important for teams and small businesses to establish productive systems of digital communication, especially given that over half of the people we surveyed reported that digital communication leads to increased burnout.
If a company or team establishes a healthy culture around digital communication, it can potentially lead to better job satisfaction, increased productivity and higher trust in a company’s leadership and the team.
Forbes Advisor commissioned a survey of 1,000 employed Americans who work in an office setting by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 points with 95% confidence. The OnePoll research team is a member of the MRS and has corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).
To find the number of workers in each state who work from home, Forbes Advisor sourced data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
Respondents reported that effective communication impacted several areas of work. Forty-two percent said it impacted cross-functional collaboration. Job satisfaction is another big area that is affected by communication: 48% said they were impacted. Nearly half of the respondents said their productivity was impacted.How will communication change in the office in the future? ›
There is little argument on its supreme significance. But there are huge changes ahead in how we communicate, both as individuals and as businesses. Recent polls predict that the most popular ways of communicating in the future will be wearable technology, augmented reality glasses and smart watches for example.How will communication be essential in the future workplace? ›
Good communication in the workplace ensures employees have the information they need to perform well, builds a positive work environment, and eliminates inefficiencies. Effective communication should accurately convey information while maintaining or improving human relationships.What is the communication process going in workplace? ›
The communication process has five steps: idea formation, encoding, channel selection, decoding and feedback. Anything that interferes with clear communication is called noise. Noise can interfere with each step of the communication process.What is the Grammarly state of business communication? ›
The Grammarly State of Business Communication report seeks to answer a fundamental question: What is getting in the way of collaboration, productivity, and employee experience in the hybrid work era?What are the future trends in communication? ›
Some current trends in communication technology include the increasing use of 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots, video conferencing and live streaming, and the growing popularity of collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.What will communication look like in the future? ›
In the distant future, we may be able to communicate by sending our thoughts through a network directly into someone else's brain. We're decades away from such technology, but scientists are working on creating brain-computer interfaces that allow people to transmit thoughts directly to a computer.What are the 7 effective communication in workplace? ›
Use the 7 Cs of Communication as a checklist for all of your communication. By doing this, you'll stay clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous.What are the 4 ways of workplace communication? ›
There are four main types of workplace communication: verbal, body, phone and written. During any point in the workday, you are always faced with at least one.What are 5 methods of communication in the workplace? ›
- Verbal Communication. Verbal communication occurs when we engage in speaking with others. ...
- Non-Verbal Communication. What we do while we speak often says more than the actual words. ...
- Written Communication. ...
- Listening. ...
- Visual Communication.
Perhaps the most tried-and-true way to avoid miscommunication is to talk face-to-face. If your team is virtual, speaking via video conferencing also works. Face-to-face communication is particularly important if you know a conversation is going to be hard.What are the three forms of workplace communication? ›
- Verbal (In-Person) Communication. Whenever possible, use face-to-face communication in the workplace to eliminate many of the misunderstandings that can occur. ...
- Body Language & Facial Expressions. ...
- Phone Conversations. ...
- Written Communication.
Workers spend approximately 29% of their time on communication in the workplace. In an eight-hour day, that equates to nearly two and a half hours of communication taking place.What are language barriers to communication in business? ›
What Are Language Barriers? Language or linguistic barriers are the most common types of communication barriers in the workplace. It causes misunderstandings and misinterpretations among coworkers, straining their interpersonal relationships.What is business communication in one word? ›
Business communication is the process of sharing information between people within the workplace and outside a company. Effective business communication is how employees and management interact to reach organizational goals. Its purpose is to improve organizational practices and reduce errors.How communication will be in 2050? ›
Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, whose job is all about forecasting the future, said: "By 2050, we'll be communicating through a form of telepathy from thought recognition technology. Electronic jewellery which can detect my thoughts may be able to communicate with someone else's earpiece and relay my thoughts to them.What will be the mode of communication in 2050? ›
By 2050, humans will ditch speech and communicate using nothing but their thoughts. They'll do this through a 'collective AI consciousness' that is part of the very fabric of the human brain and can reveal what anyone is thinking.What is the next generation of communication? ›
Next-generation Communication Devices Industry Segmentation
The next-generation communication technologies refer to convergence infrastructure capable of offering a multitude of services, such as video, data, and voice, at a higher speed than conventional communication technologies.
The older methods of communication were cave paintings, smoke signals, symbols, carrier pigeons, and telegraph. The latest and modern ways are more convenient and efficient. For example, Television, Cell Phones, Internet, E-mails, Social media, and Text messaging.How has communication become faster now? ›
Communication today is instantaneous with the help of social media, emails and text messaging. We can send a message and receive a response in seconds. Digital communication also allows us to share photos, videos and stories instantly.
In a team, being able to communicate effectively with your colleagues will help build trust, strengthen your professional relationships, boosts teamwork, develop a sense of belongingness, and help you to become more productive.What are the 7 C's of successful communication? ›
The seven C's are: clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, considered and courteous.What are the 7 C's of communication? ›
Using the 7 C's of communication, that is when you're clear, concise, concrete, correct, consider the speaker, complete and courteous, with your message, you will become an effective communicator and find more success in your interactions with people.What form of communication is best? ›
Verbal communication makes conveying thoughts faster and easier and is the most successful method of communication.What are the 5 basic communication skills? ›
- WRITTEN COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of written language.
- ORAL COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of spoken language.
- NON-VERBAL AND VISUAL COMMUNICATION. ...
- ACTIVE LISTENING. ...
- CONTEXTUAL COMMUNICATION.
Effective workplace communication is about making that connection with others in your organization and creating an environment where everyone feels included and heard. It's about communicating in a way that allows your team to accomplish its goals and make progress.What are the top 10 most used forms of communication at work? ›
- Face-to-face verbal communication. Face-to-face conversation can be carried on when speaking to any member personally while present in the same place.
- Emails. ...
- Telephones. ...
- Written reports. ...
- Group meetings. ...
- Announcements. ...
- Texting. ...
SALT has highlighted five key strategies, the Communication High 5 (face to face; thinking time; questions into comments; wow words; and signs/symbols/objects) for staff to target in order to support early language skills.What are the golden rules of communication? ›
That the Rule is so universal indicates how clearly we, as a species, have worked out that a good level of mutuality is the essence of being together. The Golden Rule of communication, then, would be: 'Communicate with others as you would have them communicate with you. 'What are 3 important advantages of workplace communication? ›
Communication in the workplace is important because it boosts employee morale, engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Communication is also key for better team collaboration and cooperation. Ultimately, effective workplace communication helps drive better results for individuals, teams, and organizations.
Some of the unintended problems of trying to implement effective communication can come down to misunderstandings or other errors between the sender and the recipient. This can include poor timing, lack of sensitivity, bombarding people with too much information or sending people irrelevant information.How can we fix poor communication in the workplace? ›
- Establish baseline communication standards. ...
- Create a safe space for communication. ...
- Must be consistent and constant. ...
- Set clear norms and expectations. ...
- Proactively seek feedback. ...
- Leverage technology the right way. ...
- Master your meetings.
- Be kind.
- Talk (and listen) professionally.
- Use proper grammar.
- Keep emotions in check.
- Choose your words wisely.
- Avoid being vulgar and crude.
- Notice your body language.
- Be real.
Improve your listening skills
Besides speaking, a successful conversation in a work setting involves listening and responding. Practice active listening, a technique that requires you to use verbal and nonverbal techniques to hear and interpret what your conversational part is saying.
“Communication works for those who work at it.” Communication is part of the foundation to any successful working relationship. Effective communication includes clarity, conciseness, and coherence between all parties.What are two barriers to effective communication? ›
- Dissatisfaction or Disinterest With One's Job. ...
- Inability to Listen to Others. ...
- Lack of Transparency & Trust. ...
- Communication Styles (when they differ) ...
- Conflicts in the Workplace. ...
- Cultural Differences & Language.
Mobile devices, blogs, letters, and memos offer medium-rich channels because they convey words and images. Formal written documents, such as legal documents and spreadsheets (e.g., the division's budget), convey the least richness, because the format is often rigid and standardized.How often should you communicate with employees? ›
-If you are sending announcements or updates, once a week is probably sufficient. -If you are trying to engage employees in a conversation, two to three times a week is a good starting point. -If you are building relationships, daily or weekly communications will be necessary.How often should managers communicate with employees? ›
Our research shows that employees want weekly one-on-one meetings with their managers. Weekly one-on-ones strengthen the connection between managers and employees and enable them to discuss and respond to opportunities and obstacles in real-time.What are 3 language barriers? ›
Some common examples of linguistic barriers include people from different countries interacting with one another, people in some countries having a different way of greeting others and people having the same language speaking in different dialects.
Types of communication barriers in business
Incorrect or inadequate communication channels. Language differences. Cultural differences. Departmental differences.
An emotional barrier is a mental block that influences how you perceive others' actions and prevents you from clearly communicating your feelings. Emotional barriers can trigger an emotional response that's inappropriate or unproductive.What is the most important goal of business communication? ›
The goals of corporate communication are to build relationships, encourage learning, foster trust, and promote a favorable public image.What are the 7 importance of communication in business? ›
Ans: The 7 importance of communication in business includes building relationships, enhancing productivity, avoiding misunderstandings, building credibility, managing conflicts, facilitating decision-making, and achieving business goals.What is a key feature of good business communication? ›
One should use accurate, simple and familiar words and short sentences. 'What' and 'Why' of the message should be clear in the mind. As far as possible; information should be conveyed to others in a very simple and direct manner. To attain simplicity in writing; simple words and short sentences should be used.How could communications in your workplace be improved? ›
The 11 ways to improve communication at work include: having regular 1 to 1s with your staff members, planning weekly meetings, always explaining the why, offering constructive feedback, following up meetings with notes, recognising great work, taking time to listen, being mindful of your communication, sharing ...What is the future of communication in 2050? ›
Humans Will Stop Talking & Communicate Only Using Thoughts By 2050, With The Help Of AI. Despite the advent of texting, humans still talk and communicate through speech quite a bit -- besides the average teenager, of course.How changes to the technology might impact communication in your current or future workplace? ›
Thanks to smartphones, chat apps, and industry-specific social networking sites, communication in the workplace has become fast, collaborative, more deliberate, and unified. Technology allows employees to engage in important work even when outside the office, and keep in touch with coworkers, even face-to-face.How do you fix lack of communication in the workplace? ›
- Establish baseline communication standards. ...
- Create a safe space for communication. ...
- Must be consistent and constant. ...
- Set clear norms and expectations. ...
- Proactively seek feedback. ...
- Leverage technology the right way. ...
- Master your meetings.
- Live And VOD Shoppable Videos. ...
- Partnerships With Creators And Influencers. ...
- The QR Code. ...
- The Proliferation Of Mobile Devices. ...
- Real-Time Messaging Platforms. ...
- Meeting People Where They Are. ...
- The Resurgence Of Owned Properties. ...
- Personalized Communications.
|Estimated Market Value (USD) in 2022||$54.34 billion|
|Forecasted Market Value (USD) by 2026||$80.83 billion|
|Compound Annual Growth Rate||10.4%|
Think back to how we communicated 30 years ago. Chances are, you used a telephone — one with a cord attached to it and plugged into the wall — and you wrote letters. Today, we have cell phones, pagers, wireless mobile devices, and personal computers or laptops — all with access to the Internet.How have communication styles changed over the last 20 years? ›
Letters became emails, telephones became smartphones and newspapers became the internet over the last few decades, with technology evolving at an increased pace. Smart phones don't just let us call people from anywhere, but also email, text, direct message and a thousand other methods of communication.How will technology change the face of the typical workplace in the coming years? ›
Companies will start to increase the functions of smart machines, software, apps and avatars. Employees will develop personal toolkits of virtual doppelgangers — virtual counterparts, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) software and devices that are more accessible to their personal or team-based activities.How is technology changing the way we communicate? ›
No longer are we restricted to just communicating with nearby friends and peers. It's now possible to speak with anybody from any corner of the world. The Internet and social media, aside from sending emails, have made communication with others more accessible and easier than ever.What is the biggest change in business communications that has resulted from digital technology? ›
While business communications used to take place through formal letters or a conversation in the boss's office, today's messaging is delivered almost instantly. Tasks can be assigned and tracked by computers, and coworkers across the globe can collaborate across multiple channels and time zones easily.