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Workers prefer email to meeting in person


IT seems we're losing that personal touch.

Less than a quarter of Irish workers meet face-to-face with colleagues and clients, a new survey has found.

More than half of us communicate via email, while 21pc would rather do business by phone.

The figures come from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinions of Irish and British small business owners and managers.

The major reason cited for this growing preference for phone and email communication was efficiency, while many added that they also keep costs down. One in three of the bosses polled claimed they were too busy for face-to-face meetings, while 14pc cited a lack of resources.

But the value of meeting face-to-face should not be underestimated, according to Close Brothers Ireland managing director Harry Parkinson.

"As technology continues to evolve, the different ways to communicate appear almost endless. However, while it may seem quicker and easier to send an email or make a call, the value of face-to-face communication should not be forgotten," he said.

"Business meetings help to build stronger and more meaningful relationships, showing your clients or colleagues that they are indeed worth your time and effort.

"It could be a high-risk strategy for a business to completely neglect person-to-person contact."

Studies have also found that an over-reliance on technology can damage a internal processes and efficiency.

"Isolated leaders fail to fully motivate staffers, and team members shut off by MP3 players are unable to fully interact with their colleagues and to encourage a sense of shared responsibility," said academic Jane Read.

Irish Independent