The Need for “Face-to-Face” Communication in the Workplace

by CoyDavidson on June 28, 2011

There seems to be considerable commentary these days on how the workplace is going to significantly change and what the potential impact might be on the overall office space market. The impact of technology and Millennials entering the workforce are two factors cited most often as drivers of significant change in how companies will use office space in the future. I believe advances in telecommunications to this point has had a substantial impact in terms of the volume of office space required, but to some degree these changes have already happened. The utilization of alternative work strategies may very well increase by larger corporations but despite all the advances in technology, most employees of organizations still have a fundamental need for face-to-face communication and collaboration.

Below are links to several articles on these topics:

There is No Substitute for “Face-to-Face”

How companies use office space is certain to continue to evolve and I firmly believe corporate office space users will continue to look for new ways to be more efficient and increase productivity. I however fall in the camp that these changes in terms of how we use office space will be slower to evolve and more subtle than many would lead you to believe. My opinion is really based on looking back at my 25 year in the workforce. In retrospect, how I use office space today is not all that radically different than I did 25 years ago. I do work at home often and have increasingly done so over the last couple of years. The advancement of technology and particularly the internet now allows me to work anywhere. However, lately I am feeling far more urgency to be in the office to collaborate with my colleagues. There is no substitute for “face-to-face” communication.

  • John Klymshyn (Coach K)

    The growth of Skype, Facetime and Video Chat have reminded me of the power of looking someone in the eye during a conversation. The phone is POWERFUL, but no substitute for eye contact. The next level is, and will continue to be, being able to shake someone’s hand, look them in the eye, and spend a few minutes talking about “nothing”.
    It is human nature. And we tend to do business with humans.
    I’m just sayin’…

  • Dcolangelo

    Hi, John.  Loved your comment.  I’d like to quote this comment in a story I’m posting.  Please contact me at dcolangelo@cre-sources.com.  Thanks!

  • Hey Coy, I completely agree with you. Creativity is still spurred from getting a group of people in a room actively trying to solve an issue. 

    However, that said, you can’t underestimate the advancement of technology. Who knows, virtual office space could evolve so rapidly where you will almost feel like you’re at the office with your colleagues. That could be far down the road, but history has shown that you can’t rule anything out. 

  • John Klymshyn (Coach K)

    Joe: So, the question is… how and where are we going to be accustomed to meeting, as time goes on? Fascinating stuff to think about.

  • That is the question. I’m not sure I could even fathom a guess. Fascinating stuff indeed.

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