TECHIES IN SYNC

CIO Survey: E-mail, In-Person Conversations Preferred Forms of Communication

Nov 13, 2008
10:26pm

MENLO PARK, CA -- While smartphones, instant messaging and other communication tools may be distracting at times, there appears to be an upside: A majority (57 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said they feel more connected to colleagues given the prevalence of new technologies in the workplace. Still, e-mail and in-person conversations remain the preferred ways to communicate, according to 43 percent and 36 percent of CIOs, respectively.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “Do you feel more or less connected to your coworkers given the prevalence of new technologies in the workplace?” Their responses:

Much more connected   24%
Somewhat more connected   33%
Neither more nor less connected   33%
Somewhat less connected   5%
Much less connected   4%
Don't know/no answer       1%
    100%

Respondents also were asked, “What is the preferred way for IT staff to communicate with each other in the office?” Their responses:

E-mail   43%
In-person conversations   36%
Phone   10%
Instant messaging   4%
Text messaging   2%
Don't know/no answer       5%
    100%

“E-mail is effective for quick exchanges and keeping written records of decisions,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “However, when conveying potentially sensitive information, nothing can replace the value of face-to-face communication.”

Lee noted that choosing the right medium for the message is particularly important in times of economic uncertainty. “Companies that make difficult decisions in response to a more challenging business climate must communicate proactively and diplomatically with staff,” she said. “It’s not just the content of the message, but the manner in which it’s delivered that has an effect on employees and how they, in turn, communicate with each other.”

About the Survey
The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the survey to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region, industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.


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