88pc of businesses see email as best form of communication – survey

6 Mar 2014

Despite social media gaining significant popularity among businesses as a means of communication in recent years, 88pc of businesspeople who took part in a recent survey said they still prefer email.

This majority, comprised of experienced people in IT and finance, were also asked to categorise themselves in a particular generation, ie, whether they were baby boomers (1940s and 1950s), Generation X (1960s and 1970s) or Generation Y (1980s and 1990s).

All three generations rated social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter as having a considerably lower importance to the much older form of communication, the survey by software provider V1 suggests.

According to the figures, Twitter was still just marginally ahead of Facebook in popularity, with the oldest generation scoring 56pc and 55pc as the least important communication tool, respectively.

Meanwhile, paper received the lowest usefulness score among the youngest generation, scoring 43pc, while the older generation showed they see it as being more useful, only ranking paper as 31pc in the least useful category.

Catherine Murphy, V1’s head of marketing, said while email is the clear choice for most finance professionals in terms of how they receive information, preferences are less clear cut when it comes to other forms of communication. 

“Perhaps most revealing is attitudes towards social media,” Murphy said. “It seems across the generations many employees still have a reluctance to receiving information via social media channels. Not surprisingly, the research sample confirms that paper is in decline. Just 20 years ago it was an office essential, yet in less than two decades it has been overtaken by email.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic