Seeing Eye to Eye... Or Not?

According to a new survey by Citrix Online, conducted by Forrester Consulting, Gen X workers, not those in the younger Gen Y generation, make up the majority of those who use social networking for business, followed closely by Boomers aged 55 and older. It also shows a highly-dispersed workforce still favoring meetings, but increasingly using tools such as social networking and video chat to communicate and collaborate.

From workers of all ages in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia about their business communication habits the key findings show that:

  •  Gen Y is least likely to share information via text message (26%, compared to 47% of those aged 55+), and least likely to use video conferencing, video chat and web conferencing tools
  • Gen Y uses social networking the least frequently (40% of Gen Y workers who use social media for business do so daily, compared to 50% of those aged 55+)
  • Older Boomers (55+) have increased their business use of social media 79% in the past year

According to the report, the younger you are, the less you value meetings, and the less you pay attention. Only 29% of Gen Y workers think meetings that are to decide on a course of action are very efficient, compared to 45% of Older Boomers. Gen Y is least likely to pay attention in meetings and only 51% believe it's very important to do so in meetings to decide a course of action.

90% of Americans meet in person to communicate and build relationships, more than any other nationality. Of those, 51% meet daily, compared to a mere 31% of French. And, 75% of Americans believe it's very important to pay attention in meetings to decide on a course of action, compared to 50% of the French.

The study determined that though the in-person meeting is alive and well, it is not necessarily considered effective, as 84% of all respondents have in-person meetings, but meetings often don't achieve their goals.

  • Only 45% are very satisfied that planning meetings achieve the task in hand, and only 30% believe such meetings to be very efficient
  • Across all categories of meetings for designated tasks (e.g. review of documents, plan projects or initiatives, decision on a course of action), less than half of respondents believe those meetings are very efficient
  • 83% believe that side conversations are unacceptable during a meeting, and 77% frown on those doing other work on a computer or smartphone

75% of Germans like to see others during meetings, while 55% of Americans find it less important, though they have the most in-person meetings. 79% of those aged 55 and over think it's important, compared to 65% of Gen Y. 78% say it's necessary in order to read body language.

Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager, global marketing and ecommerce at Citrix Online, says that "... the human touch is incredibly important: the desire to see each other and interact on a personal level is not going away any time soon... people are hard-wired to see people and read body language... (but) in-person meetings are often inefficient and don't achieve their goals... (an) opportunity for virtual collaboration technologies... "

Forrester Consulting conducted this online survey in September 2010 among information workers (anyone who uses a computer for work) evenly split between the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia. Respondents were of all ages (Gen Y: 18-30; Gen X: 31-44; Younger Boomers: 45-54; Older Boomers: 55+) and from various industries.

For additional information, please visit CitrixOnline here.

1 comment about "Seeing Eye to Eye... Or Not?".
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  1. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, October 27, 2010 at 4:10 p.m.

    More proof people pushing the Social Media Koolaid don't know what they are talking about.

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