Engineers prefer to deliver bad news face-to-face, says survey

Paul Boughton

Engineers are braver than the UK national average when it comes to delivering bad news face-to-face, rather than by email, text, or instant message.

The survey by Intercity Telecom uncovered that 40 per cent of British workers choose to deliver bad news by text, email or IM but only 34 per cent of engineers questioned took the more cowardly route.

The statistic is part of a study into the way workers are communicating in an ever-changing landscape, which now includes video calling, social media, instant messaging, internet-based phone systems, SMS, MMS and of course good old-fashioned talking to people.

The survey of 2,000 business professionals in the UK was commissioned for the launch of a new communications system, Orbit, which unites your desk phone, mobile and computer, making it easy for workers to choose the right communications channel for the situation, from one central place.

Andrew Jackson, Group CEO of Intercity Telecom, commented on the launch of Orbit: “Choosing the right way to communicate can make all the difference to the relationships that we build and helps avoid being misunderstood and email certainly isn’t the only way to communicate. In reality, we all communicate in different ways, which is why having a hub like Orbit makes it easy to keep track of our conversations as they jump from email to instant message, or text to phone call.”

With such a wide choice of communications methods being used in the modern office the study revealed that 69 per cent of UK workers have actually lost track of a conversation as it switches between different channels.

The survey also revealed that engineers spend an average of 2.7 hours talking on the phone and two hours emailing each day – highlighting the ever growing need to ensure all communications are joined up and integrated.

The variety of communications tools available means modern workers are having to choose the appropriate one for different situations, with the study highlighting some key trends. For example, more than one in ten (13 per cent) respondents declared they wouldn’t have the courage to sack someone face-to-face, choosing the phone, email, or even text to deliver the life-changing news. Half of people (52 per cent) would use text or email to end a business relationship, rather than plucking up the courage to pick up the phone.

Shockingly, more than a third (38 per cent) of British workers have texted or emailed in sick, with 22 per cent admitting this was because they were pulling a sickie and were feeling too guilty to call. The survey also revealed that nearly half of all British workers (47 per cent) email someone every day who they’ve never actually spoken to.

The survey highlights the importance of selecting the most appropriate communications channel for the situation. The launch of Orbit, which is available from Intercity Telecom, has made it easy for workers to manage their conversations in the most effective and appropriate way in one central hub.

Orbit allows quick and easy access to desk phone, mobile, instant messaging and email all in one place, whichever channel is most appropriate for each situation. The new IP-based telephony system marks a trend for a more unified approach to communications, allowing businesses to keep in touch with customers and colleagues more effectively. The system also means that office staff are all connected seamlessly into one system whether in the office, at home or out on the road.

Andrew Jackson continued: “Orbit marks a new unified approach to office communications meaning business professionals can interact in a more effective and easily manageable way.  As a communications hub, Orbit offers such a revolutionary way of managing all your conversations and contacts centrally, that we believe it will transform the way businesses operate”.

“With the trend continuing for more flexible and distance working, Orbit is also designed to keep everyone in a business integrated at all times, regardless of where they are or whether they’re using their landline number, mobile or email. That means all your conversations are in one place, regardless of how or where they started”.

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